Babies and children - when to see your GP
If you are worried about your child, do not hesitate to contact your GP or public health nurse for advice.
Many GPs will provide advice over the phone or will try to fit a baby or young child in without an appointment.
Never worry about bothering them. They would prefer to advise you now and prevent a child getting seriously unwell later.
Go to your nearest hospital emergency department that admits children if your child is seriously unwell
When to see your GP today
Bring your child to your GP today if they have any of the following signs or symptoms:
- A purple or red rash that does not fade or change colour when you press a glass against it.
- The soft spot on your baby’s head is sunken or raised.
- A high temperature of more than 38°C if under 3 months of age.
- A high temperature of more than 39°C if aged 3 months and over.
- Your baby is not taking feeds.
- Your child is not drinking fluids.
- Your baby has unusually dry nappies or is having less than 4 wet nappies over a 24 hour period.
- Your baby is vomiting most of their feeds.
- Your child is 6 months or older and is vomiting any fluids they drink, or they have a lot of diarrhoea.
- Vomiting with a high temperature of more than 38°C.
- A head injury but awake and not vomiting.
- Severe tummy pain.
- A minor bite from an animal.
If you cannot get an appointment today
If you cannot get an appointment with your GP today and they work in a group practice, ask if another doctor can see you.
Consider phoning the GP out of hours service in your area if your GP surgery is closed and you feel your child needs to be seen urgently.
Go to your nearest paediatric emergency department if you cannot get an urgent appointment with your GP or the GP out of hours service
If you have a medical card or a GP visit card for your child, you will not be charged to see the Out of Hours GP. You will be asked to sign a form. All children under 6 years of age living in Ireland can get a GP visit card.
You may have to pay a fee to see the out of hours GP if you do not have a medical card or GP visit card for your child. This is often slightly higher than what your regular GP would charge.
When to see GP in next few days
Make an appointment to see your GP in the next few days if:
- your baby is not gaining weight or is losing weight
- your child has a mild fever (a temperature of less than 38°C) that is lasting for more than 2 to 3 days
- your child has a sore ear or a sore throat
- your child has vomiting or diarrhoea but is able to keep fluids down
- your child has a cough that is not going away or a mild wheeze
- your child has a rash that fades when a glass is pressed against it
Children and babies can get COVID-19 (coronavirus). But they seem to get it less often than adults and it's usually less serious.