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Parent and sick child

Is your child unwell? How to check other symptoms

With all the health advice currently focusing on COVID-19 symptoms and treatment, it is easy to forget there are other symptoms to be aware of that may indicate your child is unwell and you should seek medical advice.

While it is extremely important to follow government advice to stay at home and follow social distancing guidance, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured.

Coronavirus is infectious to children but in the vast majority of cases, it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is more likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.

Tips on what to look out for

Below are some tips on symptoms to look out for that will need you to take immediate action, either by going straight to A&E or calling 999. There is also a very helpful poster you can download and keep handy which has details of more common symptoms and advice on when to contact your GP, NHS 111 or to continue to treat yourself.

Go straight to A&E or call 999 if your child displays any of the following:
• Pale, mottled and feels abnormally cold to the touch.
• Has pauses in their breathing, has an irregular breathing pattern or starts grunting particularly if a baby.
• 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’)
• Testicular pain, especially in teenage boys.

Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for adults and public health said: “Being a parent or carer is a hard job at any time. But during the current situation, our concerns about our children’s health are understandably magnified.

“Don’t let your concerns over Covid-19 or of overwhelming the health system, stop you from getting help for your child if they are unwell or injured.

“Remember that NHS 111, your GP and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done.”

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