When children become ill it can be difficult for their parents and carers to always know the best way to care for them, particularly if they are very young and can't tell you exactly what is wrong.
To support local parents and carers Frimley Health and Care, in partnership with FRANK, have created the new Frimley Healthier Together website to help them manage a range of common childhood illnesses themselves. The site provides information to help them recognise what might be wrong, what to do to help their children whilst at home, and where to go for more help if they do need to see a healthcare professional.
In most cases, childhood illnesses can be managed at home with over-the-counter medication and rest.
Dr Alexandra Streeter De Diego*, Clinical Lead Frimley Healthier Together 0-18, said: “We know that parents and carers often face the predicament of managing minor illness in their children. When to seek medical advice? When to try over the counter or home remedies? Do they need antibiotics?
“At a time when you are worried and unsure of what to do, everyone needs fast, up to date, expert advice and reassurance from a trusted source and this website is an excellent place to start. It gives parents and carers the information they need to be able to care for minor illnesses and help with any concerns they may have about their child's health and wellbeing.
She continued: “It gives “red flags” of worrying features that need urgent medical review. This way parents and carers can be reassured they are taking appropriate action at home and know when they need more specialist help.
We hope it will keep more children at home but will allow the sickest children to be seen by the appropriate specialist more quickly.”
The website has been designed by local and national paediatric experts and based on trusted national guidelines. It shares information that health professionals can use and brings together other reliable health information tools that parents may already be familiar with, such as NHS Choices and whenshouldIworry.com.
Catherine McLaughlin, Programme Lead for Healthier Together, said: “The website is an excellent starting place for parents and carers who are worried about the health and wellbeing of their child. The website is divided into sections for parents/carers, mental health and wellbeing, and a young people’s section. Topics covered include newborns and babies under 3 months, feeding your baby, keeping your child fit and well, should you send your child to nursery or school, young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing and Covid-19.
“The website also links to the Frimley Health Maternity website, which covers the stages of pregnancy, from the planning stage, through the pregnancy itself, to labour and birth and then advice to new mothers on how they can care for their babies and themselves.
“Everyone has worked really hard, with feedback at every stage of development from professionals as well as parents and carers, to make sure it contains the information that families really want to know to make their experience more reassuring and informed. We believe that this website will prove to be an incredibly valuable resource for parents and professionals alike.”
Feedback from parents has been positive. One parent said: "It’s like having a mini doctor for you at home, that’s how I see it. It gives so much information on what I should do when they are ill, in what cases I need to get more support or go to hospital, or how I can treat my baby at home."
For more information, visit the Healthier together website: https://frimley-healthiertogether.nhs.uk/.