Winter bugs and viruses are usually mild, but can sometimes become more serious, particularly in younger children or if an infection spreads to a vulnerable family member. It can be hard to know what to do when your baby/child is ill and when you can manage this at home or need to see a doctor or nurse for more help.
With the cost of living rising, keeping your home as warm as you usually would in winter may be a worry for you. Living in a cold home could lead to an increased risk of illness or make a current health condition worse. This page has information to help you find agencies and schemes that can provide support if you are struggling to heat your home this winter and tips for staying warm.
Getting your child vaccinated is the best way of protecting them from different illnesses. In recent years there has been a drop in uptake levels of children getting their routine vaccines. It’s never too late for children to catch up on their childhood vaccines, even if they have missed them in the past, or you are unsure about your child’s vaccination history.
Getting vaccinated will not only protect your child but also protect others, by stopping outbreaks in nurseries and schools, and reducing the risk of spread to your family and friends. It may also help you avoid having to take time off work or arrange alternative childcare as a result of your child getting ill.
Washing Hands & Covering Coughs or Sneezes
Some illnesses such as coughs, colds, or tummy upsets can spread from one person to another very easily. There are some simple things that you can do to reduce the risk of this happening.
The most important thing is to teach your child to always wash their hands well, using hot water and soap, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell. This will help to reduce the risk of picking up, or spreading, infections.
Attending School or Nursery
Depending on the type of infection your child has, it may be best to keep them off school or nursery. If your child is infectious, there is a risk they could pass it to others in their school or nursery, or amongst other members of your family.
Keeping your house a warm temperature is important. Your main living room should be around 18–21°C with the rest of the house at least 16°C. If your home falls below these temperatures or if you are struggling to keep your home warm, please see the tips below that may help.
For more detail on what local support you can receive in your area, choose an option below.
You can speak to any professional working with your family, they will be able to support you to access the help you need.
If you or someone you know is facing hardship and needs support now, they can access support from the Norfolk Assistance Scheme or by calling 01603 223392 (Option 5). They can help provide food, clothes and other essential household items to families in need.
If you live in Suffolk you can access support from the Suffolk Local Welfare Assistance Scheme. They can provide financial support, advice and guidance.
You can also contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.
These webinars will support you to think about how to care for your child at home, when you need to call a GP/111 or when you may need to access emergency care. Signposting to organisations that can help you with winter costs will also be shared.