Children’s Health – Childhood Illnesses

Children can get poorly and there are lot’s of childhood illnesses that can affect day to day life.  Below is some helpful advice and links:

Head Lice and nits are very common in young children and their families. They don’t have anything to do with dirty hair and are picked up by head-to-head contact.

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to prevent head lice. You can help stop them spreading by wet or dry combing regularly to catch them early.

The NHS website offers some useful hints and tips on the treatment of head lice. Click here for more information.

Sickness and Diarrhoea

We must advise all parents/carers that children must not return to school until they have been clear of any bouts of sickness or diarrhoea for 48 hours. See guidance by clicking HERE


Chickenpox is a mild and common childhood illness that most children catch at some point. It causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off.

 To prevent spreading the infection, keep children off school until all the spots have crusted over.

For most children, chickenpox is a mild illness that gets better on its own. But some children can become more seriously ill and need to see a doctor. Contact your GP straight away if your child develops any abnormal symptoms, for example:

  • If the blisters on their skin become infected.
  • If your child has a pain in their chest or has difficulty breathing.

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is also a mild childhood illness but unlike chickenpox, it requires antibiotic treatment. Symptoms include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, followed by a fine red rash which typically first appears on the chest and stomach, rapidly spreading to other parts of the body. On more darkly pigmented skin, the scarlet rash may be harder to spot, but it should feel like “sandpaper”. The face can be flushed red but pale around the mouth. As the rash fades the skin on the fingertips, toes and groin area can peel.

If you think you, or your child, have scarlet fever:

  • See your GP or contact NHS 111 as soon as possible.
  • Make sure that you/your child takes the full course of any antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
  • Stay at home, away from nursery, school or work for at least 24 hours after starting the antibiotic treatment, to avoid spreading the infection.


Children who have had chickenpox recently are more likely to develop more serious infection during an outbreak of scarlet fever and so parents should remain vigilant for symptoms such as a persistent high fever, cellulitis (skin infection) and arthritis. If you are concerned for any reason please seek medical assistance immediately.

If your child has an underlying condition which affects their immune system, you should contact your GP or hospital doctor to discuss whether any additional measures are needed.

Public Health England have some excellent guidance on childhood illnesses, making sure immunisations are up to date and what immunisations are available for your child along with ‘what you should do’ if your child becomes ill with a infectious virus.  Click here to find out more.

Corona Virus – COVID19

If your child is experiencing Corona Virus/COVID19 symptoms you must request a test to stop the potential infection of others.  You can find out how to request a test by clicking here

If you are unsure of what the symptoms are for Corona Virus/COVID19, you can ask your healthcare professional for advice or you can click here

It is very important to self isolate until you have the results of your test, to ensure the public health of the whole community.  Unfortunately, for public health safety reasons, your child will not be able to return to school without a negative test result or, if infected, being fully clear from the virus and fit to return. If your child presents symptoms in school, you will be asked to take your child home and arrange a test.



Healthy Start

Some families maybe entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers. 

With Healthy Start, you can get free vouchers every week which you swap for milk, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.  

Women can have Healthy Start vitamin tablets while they are pregnant and up to their baby’s first birthday. Children can have free Healthy Start vitamin drops from the age of six months until their fourth birthday.

Links to find out more are below:

Healthy Start FYi

Healthy Start NHS


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