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If you are concerned about your young child's health, and the matter is not urgent, then you can ask for advice from your Health Visitor. 

If you need urgent advice, call your doctor's surgery and make an appointment. 

The Start4Life Information Service, provided by the NHS, offers a series of emails and text messages for mums and dads. Parents can sign up to receive:

  • Both emails and text messages or
  • Just emails or
  • Just text messages

You can also join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Once you've signed up, you'll receive regular emails and/or text messages tailored to your stage of pregnancy or baby's age. They cover a range of topics, including your baby's development, preparing for labour, coping with sleepless nights, looking after your own health, choosing childcare, making sure you get the benefits you're entitled to and who's there to support you.

NHS Minor injuries unit

NHS Minor injuries units offer fast convenient access to a range of NHS services including health information, advice and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. Open from early morning to late evening seven days a week, you don't need an appointment. Southampton has two: Central

Southampton (Central) Minor Injuries Unit, Fanshawe Wing, Royal South Hants Hospital, Brintons Terrace, Southampton SO14 0YG.  Telephone 023 8071 6539. The centre is open 8.00am - 9.30pm all week.

NHS 111

NHS 111 gives advice to worried parents about children's health - simply call 111.

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your child's symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.

Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. 

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

To find an NHS dentist in Southampton for emergency or routine care, telephone 023 8033 8336 between 8.30am and 5pm. 

Vaccinations

Your child's doctor's surgery or Health Visitor should ensure that he or she receives immunisations against the common childhood illnesses. The NHS Choices website offers full information on current vaccination practice, and you can check on the schedule for your particular child. It even has advice on the jabs you need when travelling abroad.

To protect your child, NHS England advise parents of children starting pre-school or nursery to contact their GP practice to check that their child's immunisations are up-to-date before they start preschool or nursery. 

Meningitis

Meningitis and septicaemia are life-threatening diseases. Knowing the signs and symptoms so that medical help can be sought quickly, can save lives. Only some forms of these diseases have an effective vaccine, so everyone is still at risk of meningitis. This website gives full information about the symptoms, and other information. The Meningitis Research Foundation also offers support to families whose children have suffered meningitis, and provide a 24 hour helpline on 080 8800 3344.

Head lice

Head lice and their eggs (nits) can affect anyone (even people with shiny clean hair), but children are particularly likely to catch them, because they play and work closely together in schools and nurseries. Several different companies offer remedies, and their links are listed. Please check with your local pharmacy to ensure you use the currently recommended method of removal. For those who don't like using strong chemicals on their children, especially those with allergies and asthma, the bug busting method of combing using your normal conditioner, may be preferred.

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