We are extremely busy in our emergency department so please use our services wisely.  In emergency and life-threatening cases continue to come forward as normal or call 999. 

However, if you are unsure about where to go, please call NHS 111 before coming to our emergency department who can best advise you on your next step.

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Common children's medical issues

Please find some advice and guidance for common medical conditions in children and babies below.

Fever control

  • A fever is the body’s normal response to an infection 
  • It is often caused by a viral illness and antibiotics will not help
  • The fever will often come down with paracetamol and / or ibuprofen – reducing the fever helps to make your child feel better but doesn’t cure the illness, the fever will return when the medicine wears off.  
  • It is very common or nursery age children to get recurrent viral illnesses while they develop their immune system
  • Children who are hot have higher fluid requirements, its is therefore important to encourage them to drink, using a syringe like medication if necessary. 

Burns first aid

  • Following any kind of burn it is really important to run under cool (but not cold) water for 20mins to remove the heat from the burn
    • This will be the action that limits the scaring and will be beneficial up to 3 hours after the burn
  • If running water is not available then you can use a wet cloth, each time the cloth gets warm then rinse again with cool water
  • To reduce pain you can cover (but do not wrap) the area in clingfilm
  • Paracetamol will also help with the pain 

Head injuries  

  • Patients who have a head injury often benefit from pain relief such as paracetamol
  • A head injury will make people feel sleepy and there is no reason to keep them awake, every hour or so just check they are easy to wake
  • The following symptoms would require a medical assessment: more than 3 episodes of vomiting, increasing confusion or drowsiness, weakness to the arms or legs, or worsening headaches. 
  • If your child has had a head injury we will give you a leaflet of all the things to look out for.  

Limb injuries 

  • Soft tissue injuries can take up to 8 weeks to heal
  • Simple pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help with the pain
  • Elevation and ice packs can help with swelling
  • It is important to aid healing and reduce the risk of compilations that you use the injured limb, gradually increasing the movements and usage over time as things improve.   

The fluid challenge - for patients with reduced food/fluid intake, vomiting and/or fever

  • Use a medicines syringe to give a small amount of fluid every 10mins
  • For babies, you can give 5mls every 10 mins and children 10mls every 10 mins
  • The volume can be increased as tolerated
  • For breastfed babies, you can give small frequent breast feeds.