Pay Attention to the Possible Symptoms In Children Under Five

Go straight to call 999 if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • feels abnormally cold to touch
  • is breathing very fast
  • has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • has a fit or convulsion

Get medical advice urgently if your child has any of the symptoms listed below, is getting worse or is sicker than you’d expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice without hesitation.

Temperature
temperature over 38C in babies under three months
temperature over 39C in babies aged three to six months
any high temperature in a child who cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
low temperature (below 36C – check three times in a 10-minute period)

Breathing

finding it much harder to breathe than normal – looks like hard work
making “grunting” noises with every breath
can’t say more than a few words at once (for older children who normally talk)
breathing that obviously “pauses”

Toilet/nappies
not had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours

Eating and drinking
new baby under one month old with no interest in feeding
not drinking for more than eight hours (when awake)
bile-stained (green), bloody or black vomit/sick

Activity and body
soft spot on a baby’s head is bulging
eyes look “sunken”
child cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
baby is floppy
weak, “whining” or continuous crying in a younger child
older child who’s confused
not responding or very irritable
stiff neck, especially when trying to look up and down

If your child has any of these symptoms, is getting worse or is sicker than you’d expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.