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Illness

If your child is sick please call Healthline, 0800 611 116, New Zealand's 24-hour telephone health advice service. All calls are answered by registered nurses.
In an emergency phone 111.

If you are unsure about whether your child is sick or not, it's better to be safe and take them to your doctor or hospital.

If you need help urgently, dial 111 for an ambulance.

It can be hard to decide if your baby is unwell and whether you need to go to the doctor. You know better than anyone what is unusual for your child. If you are worried, it is best to see the doctor.

 

When to see the doctor

Get help from a doctor quickly if your baby or young child shows any of the following signs:

Difficulty breathing

  • finds it hard to breathe
  • is breathing quickly
  • grunts when breathing
  • has a bad cough or wheezes
  • turns blue or stops breathing

Unresponsive

  • difficult to wake up or is unusually sleepy
  • unusually floppy or limp
  • pale and appears unwell

Crying

  • cries or screams and is unable to be settled or calmed
  • has an unusual cry for one hour or more
  • is in pain
  • cries, grizzles and pulls or rubs their ears
  • has a runny ear

Wees / passing urine

  • has no wet nappies for six hours, during the day, or 8 hours at night
  • a toilet-trained child doing wees less often than normal

Vomiting & diarrhoea

  • will not eat or drink normally
  • has trouble swallowing or uncontrolled dribbling
  • has vomiting and diarrhoea (smelly, runny poos) together
  • the vomit is green or has blood in it - these are very serious
  • keeps vomiting or it is severe
  • has been vomiting for more than 6 hours
  • has several runny, dirty nappies (diarrhoea) in 1 or 2 hours
  • has diarrhoea that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • has blood in their poo

Temperature

  • feels too hot or too cold (a baby under 2 months with a fever needs to see the doctor urgently)

Other

  • in pain
  • has a convulsion or fit
  • has a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on top of head) when not crying
  • has pale or blotchy skin, has rash-like pin pricks or bruising in the skin anywhere on their body
  • skin or eyes are a yellow colour (jaundice)
  • has swelling in their groin (the area above top of their leg) or swelling or redness of the testes (balls)
  • has been hurt, especially to their head
  • has a severe allergy to something (allergic reaction, swelling and rash with or without difficulty breathing)
  • has swallowed a poison or is choking
An interesting link from Plunket
Here’s something I read on the Plunket website I thought you might find interesting.
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