New advice to support young families

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During the winter months many children suffer with common but often treatable conditions which can worsen if not treated correctly. The NHS is focusing 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, a 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.”

Sarah from Chelmsford is mum to two young children, one of whom she has had to take to A&E with Bronchiolitis before because she didn’t have clear advice and felt a sense of panic. 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. If I’d known what to look for I could have spotted the signs of illness earlier and prevented it getting to the point where my son needed emergency treatment.”

Sarah P and children

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 and type in childhood illnesses to see exactly what you should do if your child is ill this winter.

To download a copy of the information advice sheets please click the links below.