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What to do when your child is unwell

It’s worrying when children are unwell and right now, we are seeing an increase in parents seeking advice on how to care for their unwell child. With lockdown and isolation, many parents have not seen their children with infections, fever or sickness and do not know what to do or when to worry.

Common illnesses such as fever and coughs are normal and most will pass without intervention. There are some situations where it is vital to seek help such as when a child has difficulty breathing, has a persistent high temperature, can’t keep any fluids down or is dehydrated. I encourage parents to visit for information about common illnesses and when to seek help.

The North East London Health & Care Partnership website has useful resources for parents on what to do when your child is unwell.

Stop the spread of unwanted infections through these simple actions:

  • wash hands frequently
  • keep infected children at home until symptoms have improved
  • keep newborn babies away from people with colds or flu
  • avoid smoking around your child and do not let others smoke around them (for information on giving up smoking, visit

In an emergency such as if your child stops breathing, or is unresponsive call 999 or go to A&E. The NHS is there for you.