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NHS advice- what to do when your child is unwell.

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.


Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do


If your child has any of the following:

Becomes pale, mottled and feels abnormally cold to the touch

Has pauses in their breathing (apnoeas), has an irregular breathing pattern or starts grunting

Severe difficulty in breathing becoming agitated or unresponsive

Is going blue round the lips

Has a fit/seizure

Becomes extremely distressed (crying inconsolably despite distraction), confused, very lethargic (difficult to wake) or unresponsive

Develops a rash that does not disappear with pressure (the ‘Glass test’)

Has testicular pain, especially in teenage boys when your child is unwell or injured. Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done. Here is some advice to help:

You need urgent help:

Go to the nearest A&E department or phone 999


If your child has any of the following:

Is finding it hard to breathe including drawing in of the muscles below their lower ribs, at their neck or between their ribs (recession) or head bobbing

Seems dehydrated (dry mouth, sunken eyes, no tears, drowsy or passing less urine than usual)

Is becoming drowsy (excessively sleepy) or irritable (unable to settle them with toys, TV, food or picking up) - especially if

they remain drowsy or irritable despite their fever coming down

Has extreme shivering or complains of muscle pain

Babies under 3 months of age with a temperature above 38°C / 100.4°F

Infants 3-6 months of age with a temperature above 39°C / 102.2°F

For all infants and children with a fever above 38°C for more than 5 days.

Is getting worse or if you are worried

Has persistent vomiting and/or persistent severe abdominal pain

Has blood in their poo or wee

Any limb injury causing reduced movement, persistent pain or head injury causing persistent crying or drowsiness

You need to contact a doctor or nurse today.


Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111


The NHS is working for you.

However, we recognise during the current coronavirus crisis at peak times, access to a health care professional may be delayed.

If symptoms persist for 4 hours or more and you have not been able to speak to either a GP or 111, then take your child to the nearest A&E


If none of the above features are present

You can continue to provide your child care at home. Information is also available on NHS Choices

Additional advice is available to families for coping with crying of well babies

Additional advice is available for children with complex health needs and disabilities.


You need to Self care

Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, call NHS 111 - dial 111



Royal College of

Paediatrics and Child Health

Leading the way in Children’s Health