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Cheat Sheet

Children’s Health For Dummies (UK Edition)

From Children's Health For Dummies by Katy Holland (Editor), Sarah Jarvis (Co-Editor)

Being a parent is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s easy. Caring for your little bundle of joy and making sure he or she is healthy and safe at all times is a full-time job. This Cheat Sheet gives you some of the essential, need-to-know information up front.

Basic Equipment for Your First Aid Cabinet

Make sure you have a store of basic medical equipment handy in your home – but always keep it out of reach from the children. Stock up on:

  • Sticking plasters

  • Bandages, gauze, and tape

  • Antibacterial cleansing wipes

  • Sling, or scarf for a home-made sling

  • Thermometer

  • Tweezers, scissors, and safety pins

  • Infant paracetamol

Guide to Children’s Health Symptoms

Use this handy list as a quick guide to what certain symptoms may mean for your children's health. This list is not exhaustive, however, and other problems could be the cause, so seek medical advice for confirmation and treatment.

  • Abdominal pain. Check for appendicitis; constipation; anxiety; diarrhoea.

  • Blisters, on palms of hands and soles of feet. Check for hand, foot, and mouth disease.

  • Blisters on skin. Check for chickenpox.

  • Coughing, croaking. Check for croup.

  • Coughing, gasping. Check for whooping cough.

  • Coughing, wheezy. Check for asthma.

  • Dislike of bright light. Check for meningitis.

  • Ear, yellow discharge. Check for ear infection; burst eardrum; glue ear.

  • Earache. Check for ear infection.

  • Fever. Check for infectious diseases.

  • Headache. Check for fever; cold or flu symptoms; dehydration; eye strain; meningitis.

  • Itching skin. Check for eczema, allergic reaction; chickenpox.

  • Mouth, spots or blisters inside. Check for measles; hand, foot, and mouth disease.

  • Neck or jaw, lump in. Check for swollen glands; mumps.

  • Listlessness. Check for meningitis.

  • Yellow skin, in newborn baby. Check for jaundice.

  • Rash. Check for food allergy; eczema; heat rash; milia, in babies; measles; roseola; German measles; scarlet fever; slapped cheek disease.

  • Runny nose. Check for infectious disease; allergy.

  • Skin, patches of red, rough, itchy. Check for eczema.

  • Swollen glands. Check for infectious diseases.

  • Throat, sore. Check for tonsillitis.

  • Vomiting. Check for gastroenteritis.

Typical Infant Check-up Schedule

In the United Kingdom, various medical professionals will regularly check newborn children to assess how they grow and develop. Use this table as a guide to what you can expect in the first few months of life.

Check-up With whom What they look at
Weekly until 6 weeks Health visitor Weight, length, head circumference
6–8 weeks GP and health visitor Feeding and sleeping habits, vision and hearing
Every 2–4 weeks until 7–8 months Health clinic Weight, length, head circumference
7–8 months Health visitor and GP Development, hearing, physical examination
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