Keeping your kids well this winter

Every year as the temperature drops, more adults and nhschildren will catch colds, coughs and develop respiratory problems and all local health services will be under greater pressure.

Paediatric Consultant Dr Diab Haddad explains how this imagesimpacts upon services at St Peter’s Hospital: “Over the last week we have seen a marked increase in the number of children coming into our paediatric A&E department and we are very busy. We are seeing many children with serious respiratory problems such as severe bronchiolitis, who need to be treated in hospital.”

“However, we are also seeing children who could receive quicker and more appropriate treatment elsewhere, such as their GP surgery or for those over the age of two, their local walk-in centre. My advice is to keep an eye on your child if they develop cold like symptoms such as a blocked nose, sore throat or cough and pay particular attention to their breathing. You know your child better than anyone and will be able to tell if they are playing, interacting and feeding as normal – if they are not or they appear to be getting worse, particularly if their breathing is becoming laboured, then contact your GP in the first instance.”

“If they feel a bit warm and have a mild temperature then ensure they remain well hydrated and are not over-heated with excessive layers of clothing. Paracetamol given in the appropriate dose and frequency according to the age of your child may help and you can get advice from your pharmacist about this. By acting at an earlier stage you may avoid having to bring your child to hospital further down the line.”

“Remember that colds and coughs are very common in children, particularly younger children, and most bounce back very quickly. You can help them to keep well through winter by keeping them warm when it’s cold outside (but particularly for babies make sure they do not overheat) and well hydrated. You should also try and keep them away from other children and adults with colds and coughs whenever possible and encourage them to wash their hands regularly.”


About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
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