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Young patient with toy

Advice following your child’s discharge

Most illnesses in children are caused by viruses and are therefore self-limiting. They usually resolve within a week or so and require no specific treatment. A temperature is the body’s way of indicating that there is an infection present. The only reason for treating a temperature is to make the child feel better. It is not to prevent seizures. If a child has a seizure it is usually due to a very rapid rise in temperature.

Occasionally a secondary bacterial infection can complicate a viral illness. It is not possible to predict which children will go on to develop complications.


Signs to look out for are:

  • Temperature which lasts more than 5 days without having any medical attention
  • Very rapid breathing or noisy breathing
  • Difficulty feeding or talking
  • Persistent vomiting for > 24 hours
  • Very reduced fluid intake (less than 50% of normal)
  • Reduced urine output / dry nappies for more than 8 hours
  • Diarrhoea lasting> 1 week
  • Stools with blood or mucus
  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • Reduced level of consciousness / unable to rouse
  • Unusual jerking movements of limbs
  • Dark purple pinprick rash which doesn’t disappear when a glass is placed on it


If your child develops any of these symptoms, or if you continue to be concerned, you should bring your child back to the Paediatric A&E Department.