Message for parents and children’s carers from Dr Amit Sharma, one of our GPs:
Since children’s immune system is still developing, they are up to 3 times more likely than adults to catch a flu-like viral illness. An average child will have 7-8 coughs and colds a year. Viral illnesses can make children too unwell to attend schools or childcare settings with parents and extended family needing to stay at home to look after them. Often the illness spreads from one family member to others and affects the entire family. Bringing kids to healthcare settings unnecessarily puts them at risk.
Here are 3 easy steps to keep your children and family healthy this winter:
1. Use the Child Health App for health advice from local NHS.
Have health advice at your fingertips 24/7 with this free app. It is free on Apple and Android – search “Berkshire Child Health”. Add www.whenshouldiworry.com to your favourites. Access these resources to be able to look after your unwell children effectively and to know when to see the GP. Booklets with this information are available at the surgery and at most children centres.
2. Get your child vaccinated against flu.
Children aged 2 and 3 years by 31st August 2017 are eligible for the free nasal flu vaccine at the surgery. We highly recommend that you arrange this for your child as this is the best protection against the flu virus and has been shown to significantly reduce flu-like illness. Children aged 4 – 8 years will be vaccinated at school.
3. Give your child a daily multivitamin.
Department of Health recommends that all children under 5 years old be given a daily multivitamin to help boost their immune system. You can find children’s multivitamins without a prescription at most supermarkets and pharmacies.
We are always happy to see unwell children and if you are seriously concerned then always contact us or the NHS 111 service for advice.
We are entering the flu season when respiratory infections are so easy to catch especially in public places. Partner with us in looking after you and your loved ones by keeping good hygiene and teaching it to your children – covering mouth when coughing or sneezing, using tissues, washing hands frequently with soap and water.
For more information on seasonal influenza, please visit www.nhs.uk
For fact sheets on common minor illnesses please go to www.selfcareforum.org/fact-sheets