hero image

What to do if your child is unwell

This page contains information on what to do if your child is unwell. Further information on child health can be found on the NHS Choices website:

A-Z of conditions and treatments

Babies and toddlers

Children aged 6-15

Teenagers (male) aged 15-18

Teenagers (female) aged 15-18


Children with minor injuries and illnesses


Cough, cold, sore throat, diarrhoea


Visit your local pharmacy for over-the-counter remedies and advice on self-care.

Many common ailments can be treated at home by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

For further information on treating you and your family at home visit www.nhs.uk or speak to your pharmacist.

If following self care or a visit to your pharmacy, you are in any doubt, or if your child’s condition gets worse, then contact your GP surger for advice. In an emergency always dial 999 for an ambulance.

If your child feels unwell or you need advice

Fever and other symptoms, back ache, ear pain, cuts, sprains, itches, minor burns and scalds

Your GP surgery or walk-in centre is your first port of call.

In Bedfordshire, a GP is available 24 hours a day, every day, to treat and advise. People can ring their surgery, even when they know it is closed, for information about how to access a GP. (For residents living in Bedford Borough, you can call the Bedoc out-of-hours service (after 6.30pm) directly on 0845 850 0734).

Wounds that require stitches and injuries where any x-ray may be required

Visit Bedford Hospital’s A&E department.

If your child needs treatment for a minor injury that cannot be dealt with by a GP (such as stitching a wound or taking an x-ray) then you can attend the Bedford Hospital A&E department, where they will be assessed and treated by emergency medicine consultants with the support of specialist paediatric nurses.

Children with serious injuries and illnesses


Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance

Below is further information on accessing local medical services for children.

Pharmacies in Bedfordshire

Please
click here
for details of pharmacies in Bedfordshire (via NHS Choices)

Walk-in Centres:

Putnoe Walk-in Centre

93 Queen’s Drive, Bedford (from 8am to 6.30pm)

Visit their website www.putnoemedicalcentre.co.uk/

Chronic care / regular users / open access

Open access means families with children who have long term or chronic conditions can seek advice or treatment directly through the Riverbank Children’s Unit for that condition, without first needing to see their GP. Open access is not used for medical emergencies (parents should dial 999 for an ambulance if their child needs emergency treatment).

If you feel your child needs to be seen by a doctor or nurse in relation to the condition your child has open access for, we ask that you telephone the Riverbank Children’s Day Unit on 01234 792204.