What to do if your child has a cough, cold or virus
Coughs, colds, or viruses are common among young children and may result in your child experiencing breathing difficulties. Although it can take 2-3 weeks for children to get better, these illnesses can often be treated at home.
Treat children at home if they are:
- Taking in more than half of normal feeds, and
- Making wet nappies, or
- Their high temperature lasts less than 5 days.
If symptoms get worse, then it’s time to ask for help. Call 111 as your first point of contact if your child is:
- Taking in less than half of normal feeds, or
- Their temperature is higher than 38 ˚C and lasts more than 5 days.
When to attend Accident and Emergency (A&E)
The emergency department is for life-threatening symptoms. Call 999 or go to Accident & Emergency when your child has:
- Long pauses between breathing, or
- Severe difficulties or is gasping for breath, or
- Their tongue or lips go blue, or grey or white on brown or black skin.
If you’re worried your child has coronavirus, visit the NHS website for advice
Download our Children’s Health Matters guide for more useful advice on treating common children’s illnesses.