Skip to main content

When to get medical help

Whooping cough in babies and children

Get medical help urgently if your child is less than 12 months old.

Take your child to the GP as soon as possible if they have:

  • symptoms of whooping cough
  • a cough for more than 3 weeks, or which is getting worse

Call 999 or go to the hospital immediately if your child:

  • is breathless, has moments of not breathing, shallow breathing, blue skin or choking
  • can't be woken up
  • starts having fits or seizures

Doctors can usually diagnose whooping cough by listening to the cough. You could take a recording on your phone to help with this.

Phone ahead to let them know that you think your baby has whooping cough.

page last reviewed: 04/12/2018
next review due: 04/12/2021