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What do you do when your child is unwell?

Parents and carers in Lancashire are being reminded to make sure they know how to deal with common childhood illnesses as winter continues.

Young children are more vulnerable to coughs, colds and infections because their immune system is still developing.  An adult may get two to four colds a year, but children can get eight to 12 - and most of these can be treated at home with over the counter medication and rest.

It can be difficult to know the best way to care for children when they become ill but Dr Phil Huxley, Chair at East Lancashire CCG explains: “All parents worry when their child is poorly, but most of the time childhood illness can be managed at home with advice from your pharmacist and lots of rest.

‘’Speak to your local pharmacist as a first point of call. They can advise on the appropriate over the counter medicines that are suitable for your child’s age. If you continue to have concerns and want to talk to someone, call NHS 111 to speak to one of our trained advisers.”

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said: “If your child needs more urgent medical attention please call NHS 111 or your usual out-of-hours GP services. If you are worried that your child is very unwell - for example with breathing difficulties, or is floppy and unresponsive - then you should go to A&E or call 999."

Colds and bugs can be managed with pain relief, oral rehydration solution and cough mixture. It’s worth having a thermometer at home to check your child’s temperature.  You can check the NHS website (www.nhs.uk) for details on how to care for a child with a high temperature.

If your child has an upset tummy or flu it’s best to keep them away from the elderly and other children, who can be vulnerable to infection. Children should learn good hygiene early and be encouraged to wash their hands regularly, particularly after playing, going to the toilet and before eating.

For more advice on staying well this winter www.nhs.uk/staywell  

East Lancashire: http://eastlancsccg.nhs.uk/patient-information/your-health/children-and-young-people-s-health/childhood-illnesses

Or for Blackburn with Darwen: http://www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk/health/child-health/childhood-illness-guidance-booklet/