During the winter months many children suffer with common but often treatable conditions which can worsen if not treated correctly. The NHS is focussing on a message that is ‘Help us help you'.
Healthcare Leaders have come together to provide a guide to three common childhood health issues that parents can use to self-treat, visit their GP, or call NHS111 and know what to do in an emergency. The three illnesses are:
• Diarrhoea and Vomiting
• Bronchiolitis (more than just a cold, an infection of the lower airways)
• Head Injury
Dr Sooraj Natarajan, local GP and Clinical Lead on Children’s health for the mid and south Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “Advice on these common ailments is often simple in the early stages of illness, even in very young children. It can be frightening for parents at times, but there are often ways to care for a child at home, or with the help of your local healthcare provider. Even with Head Injury that can affect children of all ages, the advice has changed slightly.
“The purpose of this campaign is to help parents to know what to do and to feel supported by the multitude of NHS services available within their local community.
“There are self-help remedies every parent should have in their cupboard, including liquid paracetamol/Ibuprofen, fluid replacement sachets, antiseptic cream and wipes.
“Stay calm – be aware and know when it’s time to seek help or when you can manage your child’s illness at home.
“Some children will need to go to hospital but most will not and that’s the message we want people to take away.”
Leigh-Ann from Basildon, mum to a 12 year old who plays sport, is often worried about her son banging his head.
She said: “These new materials are really clear with traffic light system and makes it easy to know what to do. As parents we often need information from trusted sources to give us the confidence to manage our children’s health at home. With head injuries the advice changes all the time. If I know what to look for it would prevent the need for me to feel like I need to go to A&E.”
The materials are being distributed through health visitors, libraries, community hubs, sports clubs and local health agencies. GPs will also have clinical decision aids to help parents and their children.
If in doubt call NHS111 for advice or visit www.nhs.uk and type in childhood illnesses to see exactly what you should do if your child is ill this winter.
The materials are available here: