Parents' guide to common childhood illnesses, including bronchiolitis, croup, chickenpox, diarrhoea and vomiting
Your health & local services
Baby and child health
Here you can discover what to expect after giving birth, what to do if your child is ill, and how to keep young children healthy.
The early years
After giving birth, you will continue to receive support from the community midwifery service for 10–14 days.
You will then be in the care of a health visitor who will carry out a Family Health Needs Assessment within the first few weeks of your baby’s birth.
Your baby will then have a medical check from your GP at six to eight weeks old.
Your health visitor will contact you again around the time of your child’s first and second birthdays to assess his/her health.
Registering your baby with a GP
Register your baby with a GP as soon as possible after birth, using the pink card given to you when you registered your baby’s birth.
Your GP will contact you when your child is due for their normal schedule of childhood immunisations.
Advice and support for baby and childhood illness
It is very common for babies and children to be ill and the best option could be to treat your sick child at home.
However, if you suspect it’s a more serious illness, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible.
We advise you to familiarise yourself with how to spot signs of serious illness at NHS Choices.
If you are worried about your baby’s or child’s health, you can do the following:
- call NHS 111 to describe symptoms and obtain expert advice by dialling 111
- visit your local pharmacist for advice
- make an urgent, same-day appointment with your GP – urgent appointments should always be available for under-fives
- take your baby or child to a local walk-in clinic or A&E in an emergency
- read NHS advice about looking after a sick child at home
- read about a wide range of illness and symptoms at NHS Choices and www.patient.co.uk
Keeping children healthy (ages 6–15)
You’ll find a comprehensive range of advice on keeping children healthy and active at NHS Choices.
Advice includes everything from encouraging physical exercise, dealing with teeth and foot problems, and healthy eating. You’ll also find advice on talking to children about long-term health conditions such as asthma.
For more information, go to NHS Choices (child health 6–15).
Children with a disability or life-limiting condition
If your child has a disability, or a life-limiting condition, please see more information on the support available locally.