Coughs and sneezes spread diseases –

according to the well-known saying (which apparently was first used in America during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 – 1920).

It’s winter, the time when the NHS often comes under pressure because of all the germs/viruses/bugs/nasties (and whatever else you want to call them) which are around making people sick.


So what can parents do to help their children (and themselves) when illness strikes?  Currently many GPs and pharmacists are involved with coronavirus booster vaccinations and services are a little different to most years. Well, there’s still a lot of information out there to help parents decide what they can do for an illness and when to consult a medical professional.


For parents of babies there’s the Lullaby Trust’s Baby Check app (available from both the App Store and Google Play). This free science-backed app was developed from a project (over four years) which analysed the signs of illness in more than 1000 babies.  It uses 19 simple checks to help parents test for various signs of illness so they can decide if their baby needs to be seen by a doctor.


In Worcestershire, the NHS HANDi Paediatric app is also free to download.  It’s been developed by paediatric consultants and takes the user through a series of questions about their child’s symptoms to advise the best course of action.  The expert advice covers the six most common childhood illnesses (high temperature, chestiness, stomach pain, newborn problems, diarrhoea and vomiting) and aims to give parents more confidence in dealing with minor conditions at home.


There’s NHS information about specific illnesses such as scarlet fever and norovirus as well as the common cold.  Respect Yourself also has a post about the difference between cold and flu symptoms


Sepsis can be hard to spot (especially in young children) but there’s NHS information about symptoms as well as a film for parents about spotting the signs. The Sepsis Trust has information about the symptoms of sepsis in both adults and children. There’s also a short film to raise awareness of signs that sepsis may be developing which is aimed at people who are caring for someone with a learning disability.


The Haynes Self Care for Minor Ailments document may be particularly useful for men; it includes information about symptoms and how to look after yourself with colds, flu, diarrhoea, headaches and more. 


For reliable information about coronavirus, try the NHS site (which has links to pages about symptoms, testing, self-isolation, vaccination and more). Our coronavirus page has lots of links to information about Covid-19, so you may find that useful. Worcestershire County Council’s coronavirus page also contains lots of information, including how to get a test.


The NHS 111 service is available for everyone at any time. For anyone who needs to go to an accident and emergency department you can view current waiting times across Worcestershire here: (including minor injury units).


Finally, good hygiene helps prevent infections spreading; the NHS has information about  about how to wash hands properly and a child-friendly film to watch (which demonstrates how to do this). 


Hopefully you won’t need the above information, but do let us know if you find it useful.  Please pass on details of this post to anyone else who might need the information too.