Information for the public

Caring for your child at home

Caring for your child at home

If you are going to care for your child at home you should be given information on how to tell if they are getting worse ('red flag' signs) and how to get help quickly if they need it. The information should also tell you about any follow‑up care you can get.

'Red flag' signs

When caring for your child at home, you need to know these important signs and if they may be getting worse so you can get help as quickly as you can:

  • breathing becoming harder work – this may mean they're making an 'effort noise' every time they breathe out (often called grunting), flaring their nostrils, their chest might 'suck in' between the ribs, or they may use their stomach to breathe

  • not taking in enough feeds (half to three quarters of normal, or no wet nappy for 12 hours) – these are signs they might be dehydrated

  • pauses in their breathing for more than 10 seconds (apnoea)

  • skin inside the lips or under the tongue turning blue (cyanosis)

  • exhaustion (not responding as they usually would, sleepy, irritable, floppy, hard to wake up).

  • Information Standard