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Advice and support for parents when a child becomes unwell

Advice and support for parents when a child becomes unwell
18 September 2020

Now that children have returned to school, it is important that parents are able to access the right support if their child becomes unwell.

 If a child has the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or
  • more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if the child usually has a cough, it may be worse than usual
  • loss of taste and smell

The parent or carer should arrange for the child to self-isolate, to contact Coronavirus NHS for further advice and to book a test. 

If a child is unwell with other symptoms such as sore throat, earache, stomach ache, runny nose, skin rashes, or a winter related illness such as norovirus with vomiting and diarrhoea, then parents are advised to check NHS 111 online health condition advice – is my child too ill to go to school, and contact their local pharmacy or GP if they need further help.  

NHS 111 phone line should only be used for an urgent medical problem where parents or carers are unsure what to do.  If a child is too ill to attend school, the parent or carer should advise the school as per normal and arrange to care for the child at home until they are well enough to return.

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