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Keeping children well this winter

As the weather gets colder, we start to see an increase in the usual cold and flu winter bugs. This year Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust are asking parents with young children to keep an eye out for signs of RSV, an infectious respiratory illness that can cause bronchiolitis.

RSV can make children feel uncomfortable and although this illness isn’t often serious it can be a worry for parents. Dr Akmal Hussain, Paediatric Consultant at the Trust said “We are advising parents if their child has signs of RSV including  a high temperature, rapid and noisy breathing, and a dry consistent cough, to care for your child at home in the same way you would if it was a bad cold. In most cases, it will clear up in a couple of weeks.”

Dr Hussain also advises, “However, if your child has a persistent high temperature of 38C or more which does not go down with paracetamol or ibuprofen, if they are not taking feeds or water for more than 12 hours or have not passed urine for more than 12 hours then please contact your GP or dial 111. If your child is having such difficulty breathing that their tongue or lips go blue, or if there are long pauses in their breathing then you must call 999 for an ambulance.”

To help children stay well over winter and reduce the risk of spreading infectious viruses such as RSV, there are lots of things you can do:

  • Use tissues to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin them as soon as possible
  • Wash your hands and your child’s hands frequently
  • Wash or wipe toys regularly
  • Keep newborn babies away from people with colds or flu
  • Avoid smoking or letting people smoke around your child

If your child is unwell, keeping them at home until their symptoms have improved will also help reduce spreading the virus. If you are worried about your child please visit 111.NHS.UK for advice and information. You can also watch this video with Dr Hussain talking about RSV and what to look out for.

Strike Action

Our Trust will be impacted by Royal College of Nursing strike action on 15 and 20 December. We are working to ensure minimal disruption and will contact patients directly if we have to cancel appointments. 

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