Support for parents when managing common childhood ailments

During the winter months many children suffer with common but often treatable conditions which can worsen if not treated correctly. The NHS is focussing on a message that is ‘Help us help you.”

Healthcare Professionals have come together to provide a guide to three common childhood health ailments 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:

Dr Sooraj Natarajan, 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 injuries that can affect children of all ages, the advice has changed slightly.”

Jemma from Rayleigh is a new mum, who had her first baby in September 2018, said:

“Naturally all parents will have concerns if their child becomes unwell, but if you are a first time parent it can be particularly distressing. The new materials provide a real confidence booster when caring for your child, as they are easy to understand with a clear traffic light system, making it easier to know what to do.

As a first time parent, I want to ensure that health information I use is from a trusted source as this provides confidence that enables you to manage your child’s health safely and competently, at home.  The materials will provide a reassuring aid for all parents, but particularly for those with less experience, such as first time mums and dads.”

The purpose of this campaign is to help parents to know what to do and to feel supported by the number of different NHS services available within their local community.

There are self-help remedies every parent should have in their cupboard, including liquid paracetamol or 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 may need to go to hospital but most will not and that’s the message we want people to take away.

The new materials are very clear to understand with a traffic light system, which makes it easier to know what to do. Healthcare professionals recognise that parents often want information from trusted sources to give them confidence to manage their children’s health at home.

The materials are being distributed through health visitors, libraries, community hubs, schools and via local health agencies. They are also available from the Southend and Castle Point and Rochford CCG websites. GPs will also have clinical decision aids which align with these materials, to help parents and children.

If in doubt you can always speak with your local pharmacist or call NHS 111 for advice.  Alternatively you can visit www.nhs.uk and type in childhood illnesses, to see exactly what you need to do if your child become unwell this winter.

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