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Alder Hey releases list of ‘red flag’ symptoms for parents to look out for during pandemic

4 years ago

Alder Hey releases list of ‘red flag’ symptoms for parents to look out for during pandemic

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is encouraging parents and carers of children and young people with ‘red flag’ symptoms to continue to seek appropriate care during the pandemic.

Alder Hey staff, along with NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GPs, are worried patients could be put at risk by not seeking help for signs and symptoms of potentially serious health problems.

NHS services such as local hospitals and GP surgeries have put a range of measures in place so that people can be treated safely throughout the pandemic. This includes training staff about how to limit the spread of the virus; regular cleaning in clinical areas; ensuring the use of personal protective equipment for all staff, patients and visitors; and regularly testing staff and patients for COVID-19.

A list of ‘red flag’ symptoms in children and young people has been compiled and clinicians are asking parents/carers to look out for these symptoms and seek help quickly if their children have any of them.

The symptoms to look out for are:

  • A worsening headache (becoming more frequent or severe) – especially if waking from sleep or associated with unsteadiness, change in behaviour or vomiting.
  • Weight loss (unintended) – especially if associated with other symptoms such as increasing thirst, passing more urine, excessive tiredness.
  • Excessive sleepiness / loss of energy or interest in their usual activities / things they enjoy.
  • Unexplained bruising.
  • Persistent pain in arms or legs without obvious injury.
  • Fever lasting more than 5 days.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms please contact your GP as soon as possible.

In addition, if your child has any of the following symptoms, please call NHS 111 for urgent advice:

  • Fever in child under 3 months of age.
  • Persistent vomiting – especially if bile (spinach/green pesto coloured) or blood.
  • Blood in poo.
  • Blood in urine (red or cola-coloured).
  • Rash that looks like small bruises that do not fade with pressure.
  • Testicular pain or severe lower abdominal pain.

Emergency Consultant, Dr Bimal Mehta, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We understand that families may not be seeking medical help when needed as they may be fearful of catching Covid-19 or they are worried about being a burden on the NHS. We want to reassure you, that healthcare services have measures in place to keep you as safe as possible and the NHS is open as usual. Ignoring health problems can have serious consequences.”

Dr Fiona Lemmens, a local GP and Chair of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation which plans NHS healthcare services across the city, said:

“We want to urge all parents and carers to not ignore any new or unusual symptoms in children that you would not have ignored before the pandemic. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, it’s really important that you seek medical advice right away – especially if your child has any of these ‘red flag’ symptoms.

“Local GP practices are still open and here to help with all of these issues. You should contact them by telephone in the first instance, but the doctor or nurse will call you back to discuss your concerns, and they will offer you a same day, face to face appointment if needed – so please call if you are worried at all.”


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