Questions About My Child’s Health

Do you need urgent help now?

When to dial 999

Call 999 immediately if you think someone has had a major trauma. Major trauma is often the result of a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.

Call 999 in a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
Medical emergencies can include:

Learn more

When should I call NHS 111?

If you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser. For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist.

NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser. Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think you need one.

NHS 111 advisers can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary. Learn more

 

Minor injuries units

If your child’s injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit, rather than going to an A&E department. This will allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save you a potentially long wait. Learn more

Minor injuries units can treat …

  • sprains and strains
  • broken bones
  • wound infections
  • minor burns and scalds
  • minor head injuries
  • insect and animal bites
  • minor eye injuries
  • injuries to the back, shoulder and chest

 

Learn more about local minor injuries units – click here.

Does your child have problems with speaking?

If your child has difficulty with speaking, they may need help, or they may struggle in nursery or school. With the right help, they can develop the skills they need. Learn more.

What to do

If you’re worried about your child’s speech or language development, talk to your GP, health or educational professional. If necessary, they will refer your child to our speech and language service.

You can also refer your child to our speech and language service yourself by completing this form. The criteria for receiving help from the children’s speech and language service can be read here.

Does your child have toothache, but you’re not registered with an NHS dentist?

If you and your child are not registered with an NHS dentist and your child is in pain, they can receive treatment from our dental service. Children under the age of 18 don’t have to pay for treatment. Learn more.

What to do

You can contact the service Monday – Friday, 8:45am – 5pm. All appointments must be booked in advance.

On weekends and bank holidays an emergency service is provided by Devon Dental.

If your child is in severe pain, bleeding heavily or have an injury to the face, mouth or teeth visit your local A&E department. If you’re not sure whether you should take your child to A&E, contact NHS 111, who will be able to advise you.

Are you worried that your child is developing mental health issues?

There is a difference between feeling a bit low from time to time and a serious emotional health problem. If you are worried about your child or need advice and support for coping with anything affecting your child’s emotional or mental health, there are different ways to seek help.

YoungMinds offers free confidential online and telephone support to anyone worried about the emotional and mental wellbeing of a child or young person.

MindEd is an online portal offering free, simple advice to help adults identify, understand and support children and young people with mental health issues.

What to do

If your child is feeling unhappy and low for a prolonged period of time, it’s time to seek more professional help. Speak with your GP who may refer your child to one of our child and adolescent mental health services.

Are you worried about your child’s hearing?

Although your child will be offered routine hearing tests as they grow up, it’s still important for you to look out for signs of any problems and seek advice if you have any concerns. Learn more.

For babies, the checklist in your baby’s personal child health record (red book) can be used to help you check your child’s hearing as they grow up.

What to do

Speak to your GP or health visitor if you’re concerned about your child’s hearing. Your child can have a hearing test at any age.

Are you worried about a child’s safety?

Safeguarding children and protecting them from harm is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play. Learn more.

What to do

Call 999 if the child is in real danger now.

If you’re worried about a child or young person or think they’re being abused, even if you’re unsure, report it here.

Does your child need advice about drug and alcohol use?

Lots of parents are concerned about underage drinking, drug taking and challenging behaviour. Talking about alcohol and drugs with your child can be difficult, but there are a range of resources available to help support you. Learn more.

What to do

Our School Nursing service is able to offer confidential health advice and support on all aspects of children’s development, including drug and alcohol use. Referrals can be made to the school nursing service by the young person themselves, parents, carers or professionals.

Do you need to contact a health visitor?

There four health visiting teams in Plymouth who can support you with the developmental needs of your child. They can help you to promote good health and prevent illness. Learn more.

What to do

Find your local health visiting team or drop in clinic.

Are you aware of the common childhood illnesses?

Every parent or guardian wants to know what to do when your child is ill. We’ve developed some handy resources that can help with the everyday problems you’ll face as your child grows up. Learn more.

NHS Choices also provides a visual guide to help you identify common conditions and illnesses that may affect your child, including measles, slapped cheek syndrome, chicken pox and warts. Learn more.

Does your child need support to stop bed wetting?

Bedwetting is common in young children, but gets less common as children get older. Most children respond well to treatment, although they may still wet the bed from time to time. Learn more.

Lots of families first get medical help when the bedwetting affects a child’s social life – for example, if they don’t want to do sleepovers in case they wet the bed.

What to do

Bedwetting is only really a problem if it begins to bother you or your child. It’s not usually considered a problem in children under five. If you’re concerned you can speak to your GP or our school nursing service.

Are you worried that your child may have an eating disorder?

It can be difficult to know what to do if you’re concerned that your child has an eating disorder. They may suddenly become withdrawn, touchy or even rude, which can make talking with them very difficult. Learn more.

What to do

Let your child know you’re worried about them and encourage them to visit the GP, who can refer them to our specialist service for young people with eating disorders.

Are you worried that your child is overweight?

As a parent, it can sometimes be difficult to tell that your child is overweight. A child may not look particularly heavy to be overweight. There’s lots you can do to help your child become a healthier weight. Getting them to be more active and eat well is important. Learn more.

What to do

If your child is of school age you can speak with our school nursing service.

If your child is 13-17 years of age and above a healthy weight you can self-refer them to our free healthy lifestyle programme.

Does your child need sexual health advice?

If your child is asking questions about sex, answering any questions they ask can help them to understand their bodies, their feelings and other people’s feelings. There are a range of resources available to help support you. Learn more.

What to do

Our School Nursing service is able to offer confidential health advice and support on all aspects of children’s development, including sexual health. Referrals can be made to the school nursing service by the young person themselves, parents, carers or professionals.

Our Community Contraception and Sexual Health Service offers free, confidential contraception and sexual health advice, and young people are welcome to attend a drop-in clinic or to make an appointment to visit the Cumberland Centre.