Children cannot often communicate medical needs as directly or as easily as an adult. Knowing when your child needs medical care and what care is available for them is just as vital for parents as understanding the common illnesses that your child could be suffering from.
This guide will explain when and where to get the help that your child needs if they have fallen ill, or you are concerned about their health.
What are the symptoms that you should look for?
- You should look for breathlessness and children that are struggling to breathe. They may also have fast breathing or a quick heart rate. If they fail to wake up or struggle to interact with you, or if they have blue lips or skin, you should immediately seek medical attention in the form of the emergency services.
- You should also seek medical care for your child if they are being sick constantly, if their vomiting is extreme, or if they have a strong fever or flu-like symptoms that do not pass as normal.
- You should also seek medical advice if they are not eating or drinking and if there are severe changes in their mood that suggest that they are in pain.
- Medical attention should also be sought for constant bleeding, large burns, confusion, severe pain, or if they have a seizure, as well as if they have deteriorating complaints with their eyesight or hearing.
What type of care is available?
Emergency Services: You should call 999 immediately in severe medical emergencies, or drive them immediately to A and E, especially if your child falls unconscious, struggles to breathe, or is vomiting without improvement.
Local GPs: If your child has a non-urgent medical condition or you need advice about your child’s health, you should book a GP appointment, where doctors can help to diagnose conditions and prescribe treatments for a range of conditions. If you are not sure your child needs a GP appointment, you should consider calling 111 for unbiased advice first.
Specialist Care: You can also receive specialist care and advice for your child for elements such as their eyesight and hearing through visiting a private specialist clinic, such as imperialhearing.com. Here, they can give you advice and test your family’s hearing through appointments and check-ups, or you can book specialist services, such as earwax removal.
You should also consider taking your child to annual check-ups with a variety of specialists and your local GP to ensure that they have no undiagnosed symptoms of common illnesses. Additionally, specialists can also check their teeth, eyesight and hearing during annual check-ups, for example.
What common illnesses could your child have?
- Ear infections
- Coughs, colds and flu
- Hand, foot and mouth disease
- Measles and mumps (in unvaccinated children)
- Strep throat
- Tooth decay
- Urinary tract infection
Knowing when and where to seek help for your child can help to ease any worries over the illnesses and conditions that your child may contract, and can help to stop your their illness from worsening.