All children experience common illnesses like coughs, colds and chickenpox; they are all part of growing up.
Antibiotics are not needed for every illness and using them unnecessarily means they are less likely to work when we need them and could expose your child to side effects.
Instead, treating your child’s illness yourself or with advice and medicines from your local pharmacy, can often be the easiest and quickest way to help your child get better.
This starts with a well-stocked medicine cabinet, which should be kept securely out of your child’s reach. Be prepared with a digital thermometer, children’s liquid painkillers, decongestant or vapour-rub, oral rehydration sachets, antiseptic cream, calamine lotion, teething gel and plasters.
You can also get medical advice from your GP, health visitor, midwife, school nurse or by calling NHS 111 for free, 24 hours a day. In most cases you can get the help and advice you need from these professionals rather than going to A&E.
We have developed a guide to childhood illnesses to help parents and carers to know what to do, what to look for and where to go. Click on the image below to download our childhood illness guide:
Childhood illness - advice sheet
Event for parents and carers - video
We held an event with our partners for parents and carers led by a local GP, to help local parents understand what to do and who to call when their children are unwell. Click on the image below to view a short video of the event: