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Caring for your unwell baby

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You know your baby best and it’s important to follow your instincts if you are concerned your baby is unwell. Here you can find helpful resources from the NHS regarding caring for your baby when they are unwell and the Lullaby Trust’s Baby Check App which helps you check your baby’s symptoms and know whether you need to see a doctor or health professional.

If you are concerned and want to speak to a health professional you can contact your health visitor, practice nurse, GP and Pharmacist. For out of hours advice call 111 and in an emergency call 999.

Developed by Imperial College London NHS Trust this booklet provides advice for parents and carers of children under five years old. You will find information on how to manage common childhood illnesses including coughs, fever and rashes. How to help your unwell child booklet

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Sepsis, also known as septicaemia is life threatening. It can be hard to spot and there are lots of possible symptoms. 

Some people are more likely to get an infection that could lead to sepsis, including:

  • babies under 1, particularly if they're born early (premature) or their mother had an infection while pregnant
  • Women who have just given birth

To find out more about Sepsis and how to spot the symptoms go to:

If you think you or someone you look after has symptoms of sepsis, call 999 or go to A&E. Trust your instincts.

Jaundice is a common and usually harmless condition in newborn babies that causes yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. The medical term for jaundice in babies is neonatal jaundice.

Other symptoms of newborn jaundice can include:

  • yellowing of the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
  • dark, yellow urine (a newborn baby's urine should be colourless)
  • pale-coloured poo (it should be yellow or orange)

The symptoms of newborn jaundice usually develop 2 to 3 days after the birth and tend to get better without treatment by the time the baby is about 2 weeks old.

If your baby develops signs of jaundice speak to your midwife, health visitor or a GP as soon as possible for advice.

You can find out more about Jaundice from these NHS resources

Thinking about your baby being hurt or becoming unwell is likely to feel scary but taking the time now to look at this information about what to do in an emergency could help you look after your baby if they ever need it. We also recommend you get anyone else who will be caring for your baby to look at them too. 

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First Aid apps:

First Aid resources:

These resources are for advice only - accessing them does not make you a qualified first aider. 

You can find out more about first aid training here St Johns Ambulance and British Red Cross.

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