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What to do if your child is unwell

Where to get the right help

If your child is ill, you can try your local pharmacy first. They will tell you if your child needs to see a GP.

Most GP surgeries are very supportive of parents of small children. Some will fit babies into surgeries without an appointment or see them at the beginning of surgery hours. Many GPs will also give advice over the phone.

GP appointments are also available in the evenings and on weekends and bank holidays and you can read more about how to book them on our urgent care page.

Your health visitor, practice nurse, nurse practitioner, GP and pharmacist can all give you advice on how to treat your child’s illness. Your GP can treat your child and prescribe medicines. Some health visitors, nurses and pharmacists can also diagnose illness and prescribe medicines for your child.

If you find it difficult to contact your doctor or get to the surgery, you can call NHS 111 or visit NHS 111 online.

Many GP surgeries, minor injury units, walk-in centres and pharmacies are equipped to deal with minor accidents, such as cuts or items trapped in the nose or ear. In this situation, ask a GP or NHS 111 for advice on where to go before you go to A&E.

Your route to urgent care

Knowing the right route to urgent care can help you get seen more quickly. Hospital A&E departments can be extremely busy. There are many other urgent care services in your community that could help. Find out where to get the right help below. 

Further information



Child health leaflet

Download our free guide on what to do if your child is unwell. The guide includes helpful information and advice on how to manage common childhood illnesses and where to get help if you need to. 


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