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Caring For a Sick Child

Most minor childhood illnesses are caused by viruses so antibiotics may not help, but there is a lot you can do at home to help your child to feel better.

Babies and very young children can’t always tell you what is wrong but they may become irritable, they may cry more than usual, or they may be unusually quiet. Their sleep pattern and appetite might be different to what is usual for them.

When babies and young children are poorly, they may want extra cuddles so it is important to keep them close to you, but remember that the safest place for them to sleep is always in their own bed.
Offer small healthy snacks and regular drinks, or if your baby or young child is breastfeeding, continue to offer breastfeeds regularly as this will help to stop them becoming dehydrated.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

The Lullaby Trust - Baby Check App This app has simple checks that you can do if your baby is ill and helps you think about whether they need to see a doctor or health professional.

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