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New guide to help families stay well this winter

14 December 2021

A new guide has been produced to help families who are worried about their children’s health this winter.

Produced by doctors from University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust (UHL), it is designed to help parents and carers decide when and where to seek treatment for children suffering from common illnesses or injuries.

It provides practical advice on looking after your child at home and guidance on when to call your GP, NHS 111 or visit the Emergency Department.

Dr Damian Roland, Head of Service for UHL’s Paediatric Emergency Department, said: “We know it can be really worrying when your child is unwell and you’re not sure of the best course of action, particularly at this time of year with Christmas holidays added into the mix.

“This guide looks at the most common issues we see at our Emergency Department and is designed to help parents feel more confident when deciding what treatment might be needed.”

The guide, which can be downloaded at leicestershospitals.nhs.uk/parents-stay-well-guide/ focuses on:

  • Coughs
  • Minor head injuries
  • Vomiting/diarrhoea
  • Fever


Dr Roland said: “As a general rule, I often say to families ‘focus on your child’s behaviour, not their symptoms’. It’s possible for a child to have symptoms like a cough or vomiting, but seem well in themselves and, in those cases, you can usually treat them comfortably at home. 

“It’s when you see a change in their behaviour – for example, they might become more lethargic or stop passing urine - that you may need to seek medical help.”

The guide contains more detailed information on the symptoms to look out for, the sources of help available, and explains when you should call 999 or visit the Emergency Department.

Dr Roland said: “Nobody wants a long wait in a busy Emergency Department if they can help it, but often families end up here because they are unsure where else to turn, particularly over the Christmas period.

“The guide is designed to help people feel more confident in making those decisions and will hopefully ensure more families can avoid lengthy hospital visits and spend more time at home together over the holidays.”

The guide has been sent to schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and is available to download from leicestershospitals.nhs.uk/parents-stay-well-guide/ or from the hospital Trust’s website and social media.

For more information or interview opportunities please contact: 

Maria O'Brien, 

Head of Communications

07866 185 667