Your child’s health

We’re here for you so you can be here for them

As parents we’re always looking out for our children’s health, which is why we’ll do everything we can to make them better again when they fall ill. We’ve got a whole host of useful information to help you in those stressful moments, whether you want to know more about colic or you’re worried they may have scarlet fever. Not only that, but with our health insurance you also have access to 24/7 support from our Anytime HealthLine.

Call our Anytime HealthLine on 0345 601 3216^

Calls may be recorded and, to maintain the quality of our Bupa Anytime HealthLine service, a nursing manager may monitor some calls, always respecting the confidentiality of the call.

Support when you need it most

Family life can be pretty full-on. Each day throws up something new, always keeping you on your toes. When your child falls ill it can be quite a stressful experience, especially when you’re trying to figure out what’s causing them to feel unwell. That’s why we’ve put together some useful information and tips for diagnosing and treating some of the most common child ailments, from chickenpox to colic.

  • Common illness

  • Chicken pox

  • Whooping cough

  • Colic

Common illnesses

Sometimes it’s often those sniffles and rashes that can cause you to worry. That’s where our Anytime HealthLine comes in, giving you access to health advice from a trained nurse when you need it most. Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, you can discuss anything you want to – whether you have questions about a prescription or your child has woken up in the night with a rash.


Find out more >

What is chicken pox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads easily from person to person. It causes an itchy rash with small blisters and can make your child feel unwell. Children under 10 years are most likely to catch chickenpox, but it can affect people at any age.

The chickenpox virus is spread through the air when your child coughs or sneezes or if they touch infected surfaces or blisters. If you or your children have not had chickenpox before and someone in your household gets it, it’s very likely you’ll all catch it.

What are the symptoms of chicken pox?

The first symptoms may include:

  • mild headache
  • raised temperature (fever)
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • a general feeling of being unwell
  • a rash with flat or slightly raised red spots (you’ll notice them on your child’s face or chest first, the spots may then spread to their arms and legs in patches)
  • spots that are extremely itchy that crust over forming scabs

Top tips for caring for your child with chickenpox

  • Calamine lotion and other over-the-counter lotions can help ease any itching and soothe your child’s skin.
  • Be aware of throat and genital spots. These are common places for chickenpox to pop up, but not always obvious. So offering them soft foods to eat and keeping the genital area clean and dry is key.
  • Use children’s paracetamol (such as Calpol) to ease their fever and pain. But avoid ibuprofen and aspirin.
  • Prepare regular oatmeal baths. A handful of oats in a muslin cloth or sock submerged in the bath can help ease itchiness.

You’ll find more about chicken pox in our health information. Read more >

What is whooping cough?

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that causes severe bouts of coughing, which can last for several weeks or months. It gets its name from the fact that some children make a ‘whoop’ sound as they draw in breath between coughing.

What are the symptoms of whooping cough?

The first symptoms are similar to a common cold. Your child may feel generally unwell with a runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, a slight fever and, a few days later, a dry cough. These symptoms usually last for about a week or two. After about a week, their cough will get worse, and they’ll probably have regular bouts of severe coughing. In between the coughing fits, they might feel quite well. They may have some of the following symptoms:

  • At the end of a bout of coughing, your child may make a ‘whoop’ sound as they draw in breath.
  • The coughing may be worse at night, or there might be particular things that set if off – like cold temperatures or a sudden noise.
  • Your child might cough up thick mucus.
  • Your child’s face may be flushed and they might suddenly start sweating.
  • Your child might have a blueish-purplish tinge to their lips and skin, caused by lack of oxygen after a coughing fit.

If you or your child has symptoms of whooping cough, you should see your GP.

Treatment of whooping cough

Antibiotics

If your child has had a cough for less than three weeks, your GP may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics won’t usually help with your symptoms – they’ll still likely to have a cough for several weeks. But they may help to prevent the infection spreading to other people. You’ll need to keep your children off school or nursery until they’ve completed at least 48 hours of treatment with antibiotics.

Treating the symptoms

There isn’t any treatment you can take that can stop your child’s cough. This will gradually get better on its own with time. While they’re feeling unwell, the best thing you can do is to make sure your child gets lots of rest and drinks plenty of water to keep hydrated.

You’ll find more about whooping cough in our health information. Read more >

What is colic?

Colic is the term used for inconsolable, excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby. A baby with colic can cry at any time of the day, but usually it’s worse in the late afternoon or evening.

What causes colic?

The exact reasons why some babies develop colic aren't fully understood, however it could be a result of abnormal contractions and pain within your baby’s gut. They could also have painful indigestion or wind. It may even be related to food allergies and intolerances, such as lactose.

What can I do to comfort my baby?

It can be upsetting and stressful if your baby has colic, but there are different things you can try to help soothe them. Different babies are comforted in different ways, and you may need to try a few methods to see what works best.


  • Holding your baby through the crying episode.
  • Playing soothing music, singing or talking to your baby.
  • Making sure you give your baby plenty of attention, but without over-stimulating them if possible. Touch or rock them, walk or play with them – be sure to have plenty of eye contact too.
  • Using ‘white noise’ – for example the noise from a vacuum cleaner or washing machine, or from running water.
  • Making gentle motions, such as pushing your baby in their pram or rocking their crib.
  • Giving your baby a warm bath – the warm water may be comforting.
  • If you’re breastfeeding your baby, cutting out caffeinated drinks, cow’s milk, dairy foods, eggs and nuts.
  • If you’re formula-feeding, changing to a different formula, called a hypoallergenic formula.

You’ll find more about colic in our health information. Read more >

You may also be interested in

^ We may record or monitor our calls. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 12.30pm.

Anytime HealthLine is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.

ajax-loader