Loading

Childhood Illnesses

Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection that can affect anybody. It is more common in babies, children, teenagers and young adults. Meningitis can be very serious if it is not treated quickly so it is important to recognise the signs and symptoms.

The following symptoms may be signs of meningitis. Remember that your child may not have all of these at the same time. These symptoms can appear in any order, and some may not appear at all:   

    • Stiff neck
    • Bothered by light
    • Feeling or being sick
    • Confusion
    • Extra sleepy
    • Shaking
    • High temperature (fever) you can't control
    • Unusually cold hands and feet
    • Rash that doesn't fade when you press a glass against it.

Some of these symptoms can be signs of other more minor illnesses too. If you are worried, it's important to get help from a health professional straight away. If your child has meningitis, the symptoms can get worse quickly.

Meningitis and other infections can also lead to a very serious complication called sepsis, so it's important you also know the symptoms of this too.

If you are not sure whether your child is seriously unwell, call 111 or your GP for advice.

Remember that you know your child best. If you think your child is seriously unwell and may have meningitis, do not wait for a rash to appear.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E department


Meningitis in Babies

In babies, meningitis can also cause these symptoms:

  • Vomiting or refusing feeds
  • Becoming irritable and not wanting to be picked up
  • Bulging soft spot on their head (fontanelle)
  • Becoming floppy or unresponsive
  • Crying which is unusual for them – may be very high pitched
  • Stiff body.

Who Can Help? 

Meningitis can develop quickly. Even if your child has been seen by a health professional and sent home, keep an eye on them. If you are worried they are getting worse or seem sicker than you would expect, act quickly. Speak to a health professional and ask, "Could this be meningitis?".

The Lullaby Trust - Baby Check App- This app has simple checks that you can do if your baby is ill and helps you think about whether they need to see a doctor or health professional.

Log In / Create An Account

Forgot password?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Was This Page Helpful

Latest from Twitter

RT @MatthewProject: 111 option 2 is the number to call for urgent mental health help in Norfolk & Suffolk. Please share, details in the pic…
NorfolkCYP, 05 July 2022
RT @ECFSNorfolk: Still time to sign up for our live online Car Seat Safety session tomorrow at 7.30pm. @NorfolkCC Road Safety Team will be…
NorfolkCYP, 05 July 2022
RT @nandwics: A&E is for people with life threatening conditions like chest pains or severe bleeding. Please only call 999 or visit A&E if…
NorfolkCYP, 05 July 2022
@NandW_LMNS Thank you! 😀
NorfolkCYP, 05 July 2022
RT @YarmouthLib: Tomorrow at our "Just A Cuppa" session we have a presentation from the Yorkshire Building Society about scam awareness, no…
NorfolkCYP, 05 July 2022
Happy birthday to our wonderful NHS 🎂🎂!! https://t.co/3xQRAf2L8w
NorfolkCYP, 05 July 2022
🧼 It's #NationalHygieneWeek and it's so important to have good hand hygiene to stop the spread of germs and viruses… https://t.co/M7cb786bBs
NorfolkCYP, 05 July 2022
Take a look at the babies and children vaccination schedule here and make sure you are up to date:… https://t.co/oEt3jTUazt
NorfolkCYP, 01 July 2022
RT @ccs_nhst: 😎📣 From 4th July-5th September, our large-scale #CovidVaccination sites across #Norfolk & #Waveney will be open as follows fo…
NorfolkCYP, 01 July 2022
👶 All babies cry. Sometime you will try everything and they will still cry. If you need help CALL 0300 300 0123, TE… https://t.co/twfGjus90Q
NorfolkCYP, 30 June 2022