Infant and child health

What should you know about infant and child health?

You know your baby and will know when something is wrong from quite early on. It is normal to worry that you may not recognise the signs that your baby is unwell. Trust your instincts, you know your baby best.

Learn how to spot the signs of serious illness and how to cope if an accident happens. If you know the basics and you are well prepared, you will find it easier to cope.

Keep a first aid kit somewhere up high where a child cannot reach it. Make sure you have the right strength of medicine for the age of your baby, always follow instructions carefully and check with a pharmacist if unsure and check the use by dates.

See the below tab for advice on situations commonly experienced by children.

What can you do to improve your child's self-care - or your own if you are a child?

High temperature

Fevers are quite common in young children and are usually mild. To help reduce a fever, encourage your child to drink clear fluids

Child-friendly paracetamol or ibuprofen may be useful if your child has a fever and is also unwell, ask your pharmacist for adviceAlways use the thermometer under the armpit with children under five.


Having your baby immunised is the best way to protect against serious diseases

All childhood immunisations are free. The first ones are given at two months old. They will then be given further doses of these immunisations when they are three and four months old.

Other immunisations are given between 12 and 13 months of age, then at three years and four months of age (before your child starts school).

Check against the NHS vaccination schedule tab on this page.

Being sick and upset stomachs

It is not unusual for your baby to be sick (vomit) quite a lot in the first few weeks as they become used to feeding

Make sure that everybody in your family washes their hands regularly with soap and warm water to avoid spreading harmful bacteria. Vomiting can last one or two days and in most children it stops within three days.


Don't stop breastfeeding and continue usual feeds

Give extra fluids in addition to usual breast milk or formula feeds if you are bottle feeding. You can get oral rehydration fluids and advice from your local pharmacy.

Don't share towels.

Diarrhoea can last 5-7 days and in most children it stops within two weeks. If your newborn/ baby has been sick several times and is suffering from diarrhoea, seek medical advice.

Rashes and dry skin

Dry, flaky skin, some blemishes, blotches and slight rashes are normal in newborns and will naturally clear upNappy rashes can be treated with a simple skincare routine and by using a cream you can get from the pharmacyUse cotton wool and warm water instead of baby wipes. Baby wipes are convenient when you are out and about but they can cause skin to become soreHeat rash is common for babies. This mainly appears on the head and neck as tiny red spots and is nothing to worry about. Keep the baby warm but not hot and try to dress him or her in natural cotton clothes, with nothing that can rub on the skinIf your baby has a rash that does not disappear when you press a glass to it, contact your doctor or go to the Emergency Department immediately.

Coughs and colds

Babies and children can have eight or more colds a year, most will run their course without doing any harm. Give your baby more to drink than normal. Try baby paracetamol (not aspirin).

Keep your baby away from smoke, do not let people smoke at home, in the car or anywhere around your child.


If your child has sustained a head injury, observe them closely for 48 hours to monitor whether their symptoms change or worsen

If your child loses consciousness go immediately to the Emergency Department. If you think your child has been burned or scalded, immediately put the burn or scald under running cold water to reduce the heat in the skin.

If your child's clothes are stuck to the skin, don't try to take them off. Don't put butter, toothpaste, oil or ointment on a burn or scald.

Teething troubles

Most babies get their first milk tooth at around six months. There are 20 milk teeth in total and most children will have all their milk teeth by about two and a half.

The first permanent 'second' teeth grow at the back at around the age of six. To help relieve teething pain you can give your child some sugar-free baby paracetamol or ibuprofen. Follow the instructions on the bottle for your child's age, or check with your pharmacist, GP or contact NHS 111.


Chickenpox is a mild condition that most children catch at some point. It takes 10 to 21 days for the signs to show. The rash usually appears on the chest and back.

You and your baby should stay away from other people until all of the blisters have fully burst and dried, which usually happens five to seven days after the first blister appears.

It is important to keep babies cool as itching gets worse if they are hot. Speak to your local pharmacy about treatment which can help to calm itching.

Ear problems

Ear infections are common in babies and small children. They often follow a cold and sometimes cause a temperature.

If your child has earache but is otherwise well, it is okay to give them paracetamol and ibuprofen together (make sure you read the instructions carefully or ask your local Pharmacy).

Don't put any oil, eardrops or cotton buds into your child's ear. Most ear infections are caused by viruses, which can't be treated with antibiotics. They will just get better by themselves.


Early symptoms of meningitis may be similar to a cold or flu (fever, vomiting, irritability and restlessness). However, babies and children with meningitis can become seriously ill in hours, so make sure you can recognise the signs.

Find the full list of symptoms here.

Where can you go for help?

NHS 111

National Childbirth Trust (NCT):

All about supporting parents. The NCT gives accurate, impartial information so that parents can decide what’s best for their family, and it introduces them to a network of local parents to gain practical and emotional support.


Tel: 0300 330 0770


Diet, activity and other all-round ideas to help you and your family lead more healthy lives.


Healthy Start

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.


Contact details for local sources of help

Get Active Hampshire & IOW

A one-stop shop for sports and physical activities in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight. Find a sport or activity that can help you be more active. Type in your postcode and off you go.



This is a great national website that has healthy easy to prepare recipes from breakfast to dinner (and even puddings!). There is a link to the new Sugar Smart app which you can get on iTunes or on Google Play. You can find local activities based on your postcode. There is an excellent section on what to do if your child is very overweight, overweight, a healthy weight or underweight.


Scouts and Girl Guides

Organisations which don't really need introductions but just in case, these are low-cost, volunteer-run charity organisations which can offer young people support and life skills that could help them through life. They have helped countless boys and girls around the world to develop both physically and mentally through a combination of adventure and educational activities, giving them a wealth of experience and opportunity, empowering them and providing friendship and support.

Scouting website

Girl Guiding website

For an article on the mental health benefits of joining these organisations click here.

School Nurses

Contact: School nurse admin, Aldershot Centre for Heath. 01252 335654/335655

No Limits - Young Persons' Safe Haven

The service is for young people aged 10-17 who need support with their emotional wellbeing and mental health or are experiencing a mental health crisis.

The North East Hampshire and Farnham Young Person’s Safe Haven launches on 4th January 2021 and will run (COVID restrictions permitting):

  • every Monday from 6:30-10pm, and;
  • every Thursday from 6:30-10pm

at: Shieling House, 30 Invincible Road, Farnborough, GU14 7QU.

To book an appointment, phone: 07918 259361.

Young Persons' Safe Haven Online support sessions

These will continue to be available to young people in need via web chat and phone support every Wednesday from 5-8pm and on Saturdays from 10:30am-1pm. To find out more, phone 02380 224 224, visit or email

The Source – Youth Support Services

The Source Cafe - Suite 3, Wesley Chambers, Queens Road, Aldershot - has been open since October 2000 and remains Aldershot's only youth cafe - a drug and alcohol free social place for young people to meet in the evening.

The building is kitted out with a kitchen, games room and lounge, and is equipped with the latest games consoles and table sports. It's a safe, drug and alcohol-free place that's so rare in any town, let alone Aldershot.

Open four nights a week as a drop-in, what young people get from a night at The Source is outside of what could be their normal night out. It's safe, it's fun and it's fulfilling.

It can offer a range of arts and crafts for anyone feeling crafty or who needs to express themselves in big and small ways.

Visit the website for more information.

Youth AIMS (Youth Advice)

Youth AIMS (Advice, Information, Mediation, Support) offers guidance to young people and their families in areas such as housing, homelessness, money and debt management, relationships and employment.

Where to find them: 36 Crimea Road, Aldershot GU11 1UD

Drop in: Monday to Friday from 10am - 4:30pm.
Email: or
Call 01252 346105 to make an appointment.


CAMHS Surrey - Mindsight (Mental Health Services for Children and Young People)

The health and social care partnership for children and young people (aged 11 up) with mental health problems and learning disabilities living in Surrey.


Tel: 0300 222 5755

CAHMS Hampshire

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are made up of specialist teams offering assessment and treatment to children and young people up to age 18 who have emotional, behavioural or mental health problems.  People can talk to a GP, teacher or social worker about getting an appointment if they think they need specialist support.  Or they can self-refer by calling 0300 304 0050, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Trained mental health staff will be on hand to talk about the issues the person is experiencing and how the service, or one of its partner organisations, may be able to help.  Full details and a referral form available from

Community Paediatric Service

The new age 0-19 developmental paediatric service started on 1st April 2017 and is delivered by Children and Family Health Surrey - an alliance formed by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SABP), CSH Surrey, and First Community Health. To find out more visit

We also have a new bespoke service for North East Hampshire children aged 6 to 11 with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or Autistic Spectrum Condition. This service is provided by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Beacon and Psicon. Existing patients will be contacted and offered appointments shortly.

If you are unsure of which service your child should receive support from, please speak with your GP or contact the advice lines below.

Useful contact details
  • 0-19 general community paediatric (including children aged 0-5 with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or Autistic Spectrum Condition) - email or call 01276 454140 or 454141.
  • North East Hampshire children aged 6 to 11 with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or Autistic Spectrum Condition - call 0300 222 5755.
  • North East Hampshire children age 12 and over – call Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service on 0300 304 0050, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. 
  • Farnham children age 6 and above – call Mindsight on 0300 222 5755.

Hart Voluntary Action-Rushmoor & Hart Young Carers (for 10-18y olds)

The aim is to support children and young people who have taken on a caring role for a parent, sibling or other relative who is disabled, or suffering a long-term illness, including mental health problems or drug/alcohol misuse.



Tel: 01252 815652

121 Youth Counselling

Offers one-to-one counselling sessions for 11-25 year olds to talk about whatever they need to, with a qualified counsellor e.g.suicidal thoughts, self-harm, depression, anxiety, and bereavement.

Counselling sessions are weekly and available at different community venues across the district and operate after school/college hours, from Monday to Friday.  These are free to the young person although donations are always welcome. All counsellors are registered with and accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and fully qualified or working at Level 4 for 17-25 year olds.

Referrals to the service are welcome from schools and colleges, health and social care professionals and young people themselves.  Once the young person is in the service, absolute confidentiality of the young person is guaranteed, unless there is serious cause for concern for their safety.

For more information or to make a referral contact Megan on 01252 815652 or email:

Hart Voluntary Action Ltd, Civic Offices, Harlington Way, Fleet GU51 4AE

Tel: 01252 815652


Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

Do you have, or care for, a child or young person with special educational needs and/or disabilities? Are you confused about what support and/or services are available to you? Not sure who to turn to?

NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group has a designated clinical officer to support you and your family. We can help to:

  • Early identification, support and intervention offered to children, young people and their families with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities to help access the support needed.
  • Contribute to the Education, Health and Care needs assessment (EHC), led by the local authority.
  • Working together across health, education and care to ensure the special educational needs of your child are met.
  • Work in partnership with children, young people, their families and local authorities to help shape services to meet the needs and improve outcomes for those with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities.
  • Work with the local authority to contribute to the Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities Local Offer.

The Children and Families Act 2014 places statutory duties on the NHS, both health commissioners and providers, to work with the local authority to provide the best support to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs, from birth until the age of 25.

To find out more contact the designated clinical officer, via email, on

You can access the Hampshire Local Offer here:

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