Caring for a sick child

Most minor childhood illnesses are caused by viruses so antibiotics may not help, but there is a lot you can do at home to help your child to feel better.

Babies and very young children can’t always tell you what is wrong but they may become irritable, they may cry more than usual, or they may be unusually quiet. Their sleep pattern and appetite might be different to what is usual for them.

When babies and young children are poorly, they may want extra cuddles so it is important to keep them close to you, but remember that the safest place for them to sleep is always in their own bed.

Offer small healthy snacks and regular drinks, or if your baby or young child is breastfeeding, continue to offer breastfeeds regularly as this will help to stop them becoming dehydrated.


What you can do

Some minor illness such as coughs, colds, or tummy upsets can spread from one person to another very easily but there are some simple things that you can do to reduce the risk of this happening. Consider how you can stop germs from spreading. 


Who can help?

Phoning 111 or using their online service can help you get the right advice and support when you need it.

In an emergency, call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E department.

For non-urgent advice, you can text a Bedfordshire Community Services health visitor on Parentline, 07507 331456.


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