Viral Symptoms in Children

Viral Symptoms in Children

HSE information and guidance regarding viral illness symptoms in children.

Information regarding Colds, Coughs and Viral infections

Covid Symptoms

When to keep your child at home

What to do if your child is a close contact at school


When to get emergency help

Immediate action required: Call 112 or 999 or go to the nearest emergency department (ED) if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher, or you think they have a fever
  • has a rash that does not fade away when you press a glass firmly against it (use the ‘glass test’)
  • has pale, blotchy, blue or grey skin
  • feels unusually cold to touch
  • has pauses in their breathing, has an irregular breathing pattern or starts grunting
  • has severe difficulty breathing
  • is becoming agitated or unresponsive
  • is going blue around the lips
  • has a seizure or fit for the first time (they cannot stop shaking)
  • becomes extremely distressed (does not stop crying) or is confused
  • is drowsy and hard to wake or unresponsive

Call your GP urgently if your child:

  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher, or you think they have a fever
  • finds it hard to breathe and sucks their stomach in under their ribs, the muscles of their neck seem to move as they breathe or their head bobs up and down as they breathe
  • seems dehydrated – for example, nappies are not very wet, has sunken eyes, has a dry mouth or no tears when they’re crying
  • becomes drowsy (very sleepy) or irritable and you can not settle them with toys, food, TV or picking them up – especially if this happens after their temperature has come down
  • has extreme shivering or complains of muscle pain
  • is getting worse or if you are worried about their symptoms
  • is vomiting constantly or has severe abdominal (tummy) pain that won’t go away

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