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Children's Chest Infections Posted or Updated on 20 Feb 2024

Call the helpline for advice if you’re unsure what to do when your child may have a chest infection.

There will be lots of coughs, colds and chest infections in young children this winter. Be prepared. Most children can be safely looked after at home, but sometimes they will need NHS support.

Are you a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic parent wanting to know more about chest infections?

Would you like support to access the right health services?

Call us on 0800 151 2605

Our helpline advisors can provide a service in English, Punjabi, Mirpuri, Polish, Luganda, Ruyankole, Rukiga, Rutooro and Kinyarwanda.

Interpreters can be provided for other languages.

Find out more at:

If you’re worried about your child’s health trust your instincts


If your child has any of the following:

  • Abnormal colour (pale, purple or blue)
  • Very noisy or irregular breathing
  • Unable to feed
  • Floppy and lethargic or extremely agitated.
  • A new rash that doesn’t disappear when you hold a glass against it

You need urgent help:

Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999.


If your child has any of the following:

  • Breathing is hard work - they suck in their ribs
  • Breathing is sometimes noisy or irregular
  • No wet nappies for 12 hours
  • Shivering or complaining of muscle pain
  • Raised temperature for more than 5 days

You need to contact a doctor or nurse today:

Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 – dial 111.


If your child has none of the above symptoms:

  • Make sure they have enough water and milk
  • Look out for signs it could be getting worse

Self care.

Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, call NHS 111 – dial 111.

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