Parent workshops - common illness in children

Parent health literacy material - Coughs & Cold

Question: True or false?
Coughs and colds are usually caused by a virus?

Answer: True

Question: True or false?
Coughs and colds are not contagious.

Answer: False - very contagious.

Question: True or false?
Coughs and colds are usually mild.

Answer: True

Question: True or false?
Paracetamol and Ibuprofen won’t help coughs and colds.

Answer: False - both will make children feel better.

Question: True or false?
Coughs and colds will take 1 week to resolve.

Answer: False - can take up to 4 weeks to resolve.

Question: True or false?
You should see a doctor when your child is wheezy.

Answer: False - babies and young children are often wheezy when they have a viral infection. They need to be seen by a doctor if they are struggling to breathe.

Question: True or false?
You should see a doctor urgently if your child is struggling to breathe.

Answer: True

Question: True or false?
You should see a doctor if your child is getting increasingly drowsy.

Answer: True

Question: True or false?
You should see a doctor if after 7 days your child is getting worse.

Answer: True


Parent health literacy material - Diarrhoea and Vomiting

Question: How long do symptoms last when a child has diarrhoea and vomiting?

Answer: Vomiting tends to last for 1-2 days, and diarrhoea may last for about 5 days.

Question: What are the signs of dehydration?

Answer: Cold hands and feet, sunken eyes, passing very little urine, becoming lethargic or difficult to wake and a sunken soft spot on the head in children less than a year of age.

Question: How long do children need to stay off school/nursery after diarrhoea/vomiting?

Answer: Until 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting/diarrhoea.

Question: How can you avoid other family members getting unwell with diarrhoea/vomiting?

Answer: Avoid spreading the virus by washing your hands with soap and water after changing nappies. Keep toilets clean and don’t share towels.

Question: What are the first signs of a tummy bug?

Answer: Feeling sick, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Question: Do tummy bugs usually need treatment with antibiotics?

Answer: No – tummy bugs are extremely common in young children and are almost always caused by a virus.

Question: Should you stop breastfeeding if your baby has a tummy bug?

Answer: No - if you are breastfeeding, continue doing so, although your baby may need extra fluids on top.

Question: Why should young children be watched closely when they have a tummy bug?

Answer: Young children, especially those under 1 year of age, are at more risk of becoming dehydrated.

Question: If your baby is on formula, should you dilute it if they have a tummy bug?

Answer: No – you should never dilute your baby’s formula.

Question: If your child has a tummy bug, when should you take them to see a doctor?

Answer: If they are becoming dehydrated, not keeping down any fluids, have blood in their poo or continue to have fever and vomiting without any diarrhoea.


Parent health literacy material - Fever

Question: Above what temperature is considered to be a fever?

Answer: Above 38°C / 100°F

Question: How do you measure a temperature?

Answer: A thermometer under the arm or in the ear.
Forehead thermometers can be inaccurate.

Question: What usually causes a fever?

Answer: A VIRUS!! Fever is common in children and usually mild. Antibiotics are not usually required, especially if a child has a runny nose or wheeze.

Question: What can you do/give your child when they have a fever?

Answer: 1. Fluids! Keep your child hydrated
2. Give Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
3. Keep your child in loose clothing
4. Don’t sponge down

Question: When should you take your child to the doctor?

Answer: 1. If your child does not respond normally or is difficult to wake.
2. If your child hasn’t had a wet or dirty nappy for more than 12 hours.
3. If the fever is associated with a rash that doesn’t go away on pressing (glass test).
4. If your child has a fit.
5. If the temperature lasts longer than 5 days.
All children under 3 months old with a temperature of 38°C or higher need to see a doctor. Unless fever within 48 hours of vaccines and baby otherwise well.

Question: What is the glass test?

Answer: The glass test: press a clear glass tumbler firmly against the rash. If you can see the marks clearly through the glass seek urgent medical help immediately.

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