How to get your child the right health care if they’re ill this winter
The winter weather has an impact on our health, illnesses such as respiratory viruses and norovirus are more common in the winter and children pick up viruses easily at school.
If your child does get ill there are a number of services in the city that can help them.
Dr Anthony Gore, a GP Sheffield, explains: “It can be worrying when your child is ill but there is a wealth of information and advice to help you make the right decision to get your child seen quickly by the most appropriate health care professional. You may not need to go to A&E or to see a GP and could be seen quicker elsewhere.”
If you are worried about your child’s health and are not sure what service they need, use NHS 111 either online at https://111.nhs.uk/ or via the telephone. A fully trained advisor will assess your child’s symptoms, decide what medical help you need and advise where you need to go. They can book an out of hours GP appointment if you need it.
If your child’s condition isn’t an emergency, you can get advice online here https://sybhealthiertogether.nhs.uk/ or visit your local pharmacist. Pharmacists are trained professionals who can offer advice and treatment on a range of illnesses and ailments. Most pharmacies have a quiet area where you can speak in private, and many are open during the evenings and weekends, without an appointment. They can also help you decide if you need to see a doctor.
If you think your child needs to see a GP, nurse or other health professional, speak to your GP practice. You can now book appointments outside normal practice hours between 6.30pm and 8.00pm Monday to Saturday in 11 locations across the city, making it convenient to fit around work and school. You can book these appointments via your own practice.
Dr Gore added: “It’s almost impossible to stop children spreading virus and getting coughs and colds but you can prevent them getting more serious illness such as flu. The best way to prevent your child getting ill from flu is to have them vaccinated. Children aged 2-3 years old will be offered the flu vaccination at your GP practice and primary school aged children will be given it at school. The vaccine is a simple, painless nasal spray. I’d encourage you to consider getting your child vaccinated to keep them well over winter, it’s not too late to get the vaccine.”
You can reduce the risk of your child getting ill and spreading viruses by reminding them to wash their hands regularly, especially after going to the toilet or after coughing and sneezing.
For information on common childhood illnesses, including advice on what ‘red-flag’ signs to look out for, where to seek help if required and how long your child’s symptoms are likely to last, see online here https://sybhealthiertogether.nhs.uk/.