Children's health


    NHS 111

    If you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency; or you want advice about treating your child's symptoms at home; or you need to access a local medical service but you're not sure which one, start with NHS 111.

    NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit the NHS 111 website or call 111 free from your landline or mobile phone.

    Trained advisors will ask you a series of questions to assess your child’s symptoms and then if necessary, book an appointment for you to attend the local healthcare service that’s right for them. If the NHS 111 team think you need an ambulance, they will send one immediately.


    Pharmacists are trained medicine experts who can give you advice on treating a range of common childhood conditions and minor injuries such as:

    • sore throat
    • coughs
    • colds and flu
    • insect bites
    • earache
    • skin rashes

    You don't need to make an appointment to visit your local pharmacist, and many pharmacies are open during the evening and at weekends. Find your nearest pharmacy.

    Caring for children with coughs

    The University of Bristol have created a leaflet on how to look after a child who has a cough (not due to asthma).

    Not sure what to do?

    Get instant access to expert advice via a free mobile app, called HANDi App.

    Developed and approved by Paediatric Consultants at the Royal United Hospital (RUH), the HANDi App provides expert advice on how best to manage the six most common childhood illnesses; diarrhoea and vomiting, high temperature, chestiness, newborn problems and stomach pain.

    It's easy to use as it takes you through a series of questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing and then advises on what to do, whether that's to treat at home, make a GP appointment or to go to A&E.

    Bath or Wiltshire resident? Search for 'HANDi App' in your app store to download HANDi App now.

    Respiratory illness in children

    We see an increase in severe respiratory illness like broncholitis in children over the winter months. Many of these illnesses are caused by a virus called respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

    Parents are encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe respiratory infection in at-risk children, including a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever), a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).

    For the majority of children, these illnesses will not be serious and they will soon recover following rest and plenty of fluids.

    Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but parents should contact their GP or call NHS 111 if:

    • Their child struggles to breathe.
    • Their child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last 2 or 3 feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
    • The child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.

    Some children under 2 years, especially those born prematurely or with a heart condition, can suffer more serious consequences from these common respiratory infections.

    Find out more about RSV using the dropdown list of FAQs below

    RSV FAQs

    Group A Strep