We’re seeing an increase in severe respiratory illness in children as restrictions ease and people mix more, with cases higher than usual for this time of year and further increases expected over the winter months.
Symptoms of severe respiratory infection in children, include a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever), a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).
Most cases of respiratory illness are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but parents should contact their GP or call NHS 111 if:
- Their child struggles to breathe.
- Their child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last 2 or 3 feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
- The child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
Some children under 2, especially those born prematurely or with a heart condition, can suffer more serious consequences from these common respiratory infections.