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Winter healthcare tips for parents

24th November 2021

With increasing cases of respiratory viruses and tummy bugs circulating in the community, the Southern Trust is offering parents some useful health care advice.

Health Visitors are sharing information on how to recognise and deal with common childhood symptoms and the Trust will be sharing tips across its social media pages.

Julie McConville, Assistant Director of Child Health & Disability for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust says:

“Children are now socialising much more than they have been over the past 18 months and so they will be more likely to pick up bugs and infections. We are definitely receiving more calls to Urgent Care Out of Hours and through our Phone First system for common childhood symptoms like temperatures, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“We know with the continued circulation of Covid-19 in our community, that parents will be anxious and should remain vigilant, but there are some steps you can take at home to treat symptoms and to help you know when to seek professional advice.”

Mairead Donnelly, Head of Health Visiting and School Nursing adds: “We encourage parents to keep a stock of over the counter remedies like paracetamol, ibuprofen and teething gels to deal with general ailments in babies aged over three months at home  in the first instance and if in doubt, ask your Health Visitor or community pharmacist for advice.

“Familiarise yourself with trusted websites like NIDirect, Healthier Together or the Southern Trust where you know you will find sound information on common symptoms like rashes, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting and download the BabyCheck APP from the Lullaby Trust.

“Most importantly – if you feel your child has very serious, urgent symptoms that cannot wait, please do not delay in bringing them to your nearest Emergency Department or call 999 immediately.”

Phone First – before going to Craigavon or Daisy Hill Emergency Departments or South Tyrone Minor Injuries Unit with urgent but not life threatening symptoms. 0300 123 3111.

Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).


Parent Information Sheet

Useful links:         

A to Z illnesses and conditions/symptom search | nidirect

Health Visitors | Healthier Together (

Birth to five | HSC Public Health Agency (