Loading

Childhood Illnesses

Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection that can affect anybody. It is more common in babies, children, teenagers and young adults. Meningitis can be very serious if it is not treated quickly so it is important to recognise the signs and symptoms.

The following symptoms may be signs of meningitis. Remember that your child may not have all of these at the same time. These symptoms can appear in any order, and some may not appear at all:   

    • Stiff neck
    • Bothered by light
    • Feeling or being sick
    • Confusion
    • Extra sleepy
    • Shaking
    • High temperature (fever) you can't control
    • Unusually cold hands and feet
    • Rash that doesn't fade when you press a glass against it.

Some of these symptoms can be signs of other more minor illnesses too. If you are worried, it's important to get help from a health professional straight away. If your child has meningitis, the symptoms can get worse quickly.

Meningitis and other infections can also lead to a very serious complication called sepsis, so it's important you also know the symptoms of this too.

If you are not sure whether your child is seriously unwell, call 111 or your GP for advice.

Remember that you know your child best. If you think your child is seriously unwell and may have meningitis, do not wait for a rash to appear.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E department


Meningitis in Babies

In babies, meningitis can also cause these symptoms:

  • Vomiting or refusing feeds
  • Becoming irritable and not wanting to be picked up
  • Bulging soft spot on their head (fontanelle)
  • Becoming floppy or unresponsive
  • Crying which is unusual for them – may be very high pitched
  • Stiff body.

Who Can Help? 

Meningitis can develop quickly. Even if your child has been seen by a health professional and sent home, keep an eye on them. If you are worried they are getting worse or seem sicker than you would expect, act quickly. Speak to a health professional and ask, "Could this be meningitis?".

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.

Log In / Create An Account

Forgot password?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Was This Page Helpful

Latest from Twitter

Are you an experienced Mental Health Professional looking to join the new MHST team in Norfolk and Waveney? We are… https://t.co/MRB8vePYeP
NorfolkCYP, 13 August 2022
👶☀️Never cover a pram or buggy in a blanket or cloth. This can make the temperature around your baby dangerously hi… https://t.co/gB7W0Tof6V
NorfolkCYP, 13 August 2022
Do you feel stressed and under pressure – if you think this may lead to being abusive or hurting your loved ones -… https://t.co/7TKNgIfhPk
NorfolkCYP, 12 August 2022
We are delighted to announce that we are launching two Mental Health Support Teams in Norfolk and Waveney. We are l… https://t.co/CMDbTWaGQL
NorfolkCYP, 12 August 2022
Get help to stop smoking here: https://t.co/i7LE5BVKxB #J1N #Miquit 👍 https://t.co/xMzk4VR2uR
NorfolkCYP, 12 August 2022
RT @SolihullAproach: Online course for parents 'Understanding your child' available in Ukrainian and 107 other languages at https://t.co/6q…
NorfolkCYP, 12 August 2022
📱✔️ Next week is A-level results day! If you are feeling anxious or worried you can text #ChatHealth and speak to s… https://t.co/M437HzpUkP
NorfolkCYP, 12 August 2022
You can also have a go at the starting school quiz on Just One Norfolk here: https://t.co/GbO2JbL0KF #J1N https://t.co/rQ0Zfa7ovc
NorfolkCYP, 12 August 2022
☀️ Check buckles and seat belts temperature before putting your child in the car to prevent burns. For more hot wea… https://t.co/NLczrbVZZf
NorfolkCYP, 12 August 2022
Is your child starting school this September? Join our interactive session co-hosted with Early Childhood and Famil… https://t.co/2IICGr95tQ
NorfolkCYP, 11 August 2022