When to get medical help - Whooping cough in babies and children

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

Non-urgent advice: 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

Immediate action required: 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: 4 December 2018
Next review due: 4 December 2021