When you need advice on a specific area such as meningitis, asthma, cot death, eating disorders or perhaps allergies, there is a large number of resources, many with websites, available to help you. We have put together this page containing many of our favourites, as is the case with our site, you can find high quality information and in-depth advice on some complex issues.
Find a Local Service by Texting 61121
NHS Direct provides a handy text messaging service which will help you find the closest GP, dentist, pharmacy, optician, walk-in centre, A&E or hospital in England. All you have to do is to text the name of the service required, followed by a postcode, to 61121 and you will receive a text message in reply, with the service name, address and telephone number (where available), plus the distance from the postcode you supplied.
As an example, to find a local GP you would text the word GP and your full postcode to 61121 – e.g. GP SG4 9SY. If callers would like an extra three results, reply ‘more’ to the first message. The seven key words to access the seven local health services are: GP; dentist; pharmacy; optician; walk; casualty; hospital.
Emergency Numbers For First Aid
In a medical emergency you should call 999 or go to your local A&E department. But if you’re simply concerned about something like your child’s temperature, then NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk provides a great service. It’s staffed by trained personnel with access to extensive databases.
First Aid Skills
It’s always useful to know what to do if your child has an accident. Good quality first aid tips are available on the web, or you might want to consider a first aid or life-saving course.
St John Ambulance, (08700 10 49 50, www.sja.org.uk) offers training courses to both adults and children and their website contains a handy first aid advice section.
The Red Cross, (0844 871 11 11, www.redcross.org.uk) provides similar services to St John Ambulance.
Royal Life Saving Society, (01789 773994, www.lifesavers.org.uk) offers courses which could help you save a child from drowning and increase your own confidence in the water.
Specific Health Issues
Some illnesses can be extremely frightening for both parents and children. It is useful to familiarise yourself with symptoms of some of the more serious ones:
The Meningitis Foundation (080 8800 3344, 24 hour) www.meningitis.org
National Asthma Campaign (0800 121 62 44, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) www.asthma.org.uk
Eating Disorders Association (0845 634 1414) www.edauk.com
Keeping Children Safe
Two million children are taken to hospital every year as a result of accidents. The SafeKids website aims to offer advice and features to help parents and carers to help keep children safe. The following organisations may also be useful:
Kidsmart (020 7639 6967, www.kidsmart.org.uk)
Home office (www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/)