Childhood illnesses

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Childhood illnesses

Click the image to download the leaflet.

All children experience common illnesses like coughs, colds and chickenpox; they are all part of growing up

You can download the leaflet by clicking this image, or the link below. You can also read each section by clicking on the links in the menu on the left-hand side.

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 professional rather than going to A&E.

Being prepared

Be aware of the signs and symptoms of serious illness. Be prepared so you can cope if an accident happens. 

It would be ideal to have your own first aid kit at home which contains everything you may need in an emergency. Basic items would include plasters, sterile dressings, cotton wool, adhesive tape, antiseptic liquid or cream, insect cream, pain relief, scissors, tweezers and disposable gloves. Speak to your local pharmacist who will advise on the contents of your medicine cupboard and first aid kit so they are fully equipped. 

Remember to keep all medicines out of the reach of children and to check them regularly for their use-by dates. 

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Last modified: 

01 Dec 2015