Local doctors give advice to parents on common respiratory illnesses

26 January 2023

Local doctors are today offering advice to parents, amidst an increase in common respiratory illnesses in children this winter.

Illnesses on the rise this winter include coughs, colds, flu, covid and bronchiolitis. Children under 2 or those with existing medical conditions are at a particular risk of severe infections from common seasonal illnesses. Parents are advised to keep a close eye on their child’s symptoms and contact their doctor if they have a high temperature, become breathless or have difficulty feeding.

Dr Priya George, local GP and Clinical Lead for Children and Young People at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin said: “Respiratory illnesses, including colds and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), are very common in young children and we see them every year. Parents often worry about the best way to care for their ill kids, and I’d like to take this opportunity to offer advice and signpost to services who can help.

“Often, parents can treat their ill children at home without need for medical assistance. Colds, coughs and mild fevers will often respond to over-the-counter medications such as Calpol and cough syrup. Together with lots of rest and fluids, children will most likely recover within a few days. Your local pharmacist will be able to help recommend what treatments are available to help alleviate mild respiratory illnesses.

“However it’s important that parents contact NHS 111 or their local GP if their child does not improve within a few days. Symptoms to be on the lookout for include wheezing (noisy breathing), deep chesty coughs, a rash or high temperatures. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or 111 for advice.

“Call 999 or go to A&E if your child is floppy, unresponsive, struggling to breathe or sucking their chest in.”

Dr Charlotte Hart, Shrewsbury-based GP and Primary Care Network Clinical Director added: “Children with asthma can struggle more with common respiratory illnesses. If your child is asthmatic, ensure they are taking their inhalers regularly and properly and contact your practice nurse or GP if you feel their breathing is not normal.

“There are some things we can all do to try and prevent the spread or onset of illness. Give your child a multi-vitamin daily, encourage regular and thorough hand washing and keep your child off school or nursery if they are ill.”

Page last updated 26 January 2023