Vaccinations can prevent your child from getting serious diseases.
We run a child immunisation clinic every Wednesday afternoon. When you have a new baby one of our team will contact you to arrange an appointment in this clinic for their first immunisationas well as a new baby check appointment.
For other childhood immunisations, you will need to make a nurse appointment for your child in person at reception or by phone on 020 3826 0826.
See this website for the Childhood vaccination schedule NHS.
Common childhood illnesses
Children are exposed to a variety of infections as they grow up and this helps to build their immune system. Some common illnesses are:
- Chicken Pox
- Outer Ear Infections
Fevers with a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or more are usually caused by infection and tend to settle with paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Most are caused by viruses and cause short periods of symptoms and either resolve on their own or require a simple treatment often over the counter from a pharmacist without the need for a trip to the doctors.
Warning signs of child needing medical attention for an illness or infection are:
- Off food
- Persistent and Worsening temperature despite efforts to bring it down
- New Rashes that do not disappear when pressed with a glass
- NHS – Childhood Illnesses
- Patient.co.uk – Common Childhood Illnesses
- Pocket Parent
- NHS – Fever in a Child
- A Quick guide to childhood illnesses
Other childhood problems
Constipation is a common complaint in infants and children. The cause of constipation is multi-factorial and seldom caused by obstruction or disease. In many children, constipation is triggered by experience of painful bowel movements, caused by factors such as toilet training, change in routine or diet, stressful events, intercurrent illness or delaying defaecation.
The ‘normal’ frequency of bowel movements varies from child to child and varies widely. It is not common, but some children can have infrequent motions sometimes once in 7 or even 10 days.
If your child has constipation make sure they have adequate fluids and adequate fibre, including foods with a high fibre content (such as fruit, vegetables, high-fibre bread, baked beans and wholegrain breakfast cereals) (not applicable to exclusively breastfed infants). DO NOT use unprocessed bran, which can cause bloating and flatulence and reduce the absorption of micronutrients.
Most cases usually self-resolve with drinking lots of water and ensuring lots of fibre, fruit and vegetables are in the diet. If it persists for more than 7 days or there is any sign of blood in stools then medical advice should be sought.
Eczema a skin condition that often presents in early childhood causes an itchy dry rash across the skin. Further information can found at patient.co.uk.
Anyone can catch head lice, but preschool children, primary school children and their families are most at risk. The lice are not fussy and like all hair types whether dirty or clean. The lice move freely and quickly between people so can spread very easily.
Treatment is simple, either wet combing the hair with a special “nit comb” or shampoo/lotions to apply to the hair and scalp – you do not need to consult a doctor just see the pharmacist. Remember to treat the whole family.
For more information on head lice see these articles:
Almost all infants are fussy at times. But some are excessively fussy because they have an allergy to the protein in cow’s milk, which is the basis for most commercial baby formulas. A person of any age can have a milk allergy, but it’s more common among infants, though most outgrow it.
Most kids who are allergic to cow’s milk also react to goat’s milk and sheep’s milk, and some of them are also allergic to the protein in soy milk.
Infants who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing a milk allergy than those who are formula fed.
Typically, a milk allergy goes away on its own by the time a child is 3 to 5 years old, but some kids never out grow of it.
A milk allergy is not the same thing as lactose intolerance, the inability to digest the sugar lactose, which is rare in infants and more common among older kids and adults.
See these websites for more information:
- NHS – Could my child be interolant to cows milk
- Allergy UK – Milk Allergy
- Cows Milk Allergy
- Feeding tips – infants leaflet
Childhood illness school exclusion
Certain illnesses are contagious and it is important that your child should NOT attend school or nursery to prevent spread of the bugs to other children. For a list of illnesses/conditions that require your child to be kept of school and for how long. For a list of illnesses/conditions that require your child to be kept of school and for how long, please check NHS.
CAMHS – Child and adolescent mental health service
Children as well as adults can suffer from a variety of mental health issues, some of which are:
- Behavioural problems
- Anxiety Disorders
- Obsessive/Compulsive Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Post-traumatic stress
- Family relationship problems
Help and support can be offered to both your child and yourself through this service and initiate any therapies if deemed appropriate.
- CLIC Sargent – For children with cancer
- The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group
- School Nursing – Central London Community Healthcare
Young Merton – Information for young people
For information about support for healthy living in Merton we recommend you follow this link to the Young Merton website which has up-to-date information on Keeping Safe and Healthy.