Baby, children and young people’s health
Please use this information to find quick links to guides, support, groups and health information for families and children from 0 to 19 years old.
Top tips for staying healthy
Healthy Start Scheme provide free vouchers or payments to people on certain benefits, who are pregnant or have children under the age of 4. The vouchers can be used to buy the child or children milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins.
You may also find these pages on InformationNOW useful. Read more on:
NHS Start for Life is an information website where you can find out more about:
- pregnancy: week-by-week guide, advice on vitamins, and which foods to include for a healthy, nutritious diet
- babies: with tips on parenthood, breastfeeding, vaccinations and free tools for having a healthy, happy baby
- toddlers: helping your child learn to talk by chatting, reading and playing together, and being physically active
Involve North East has videos for pregnant people and new parents with English as an additional language, to help understand what happens after you’ve had a baby in the UK. They show the different health professionals you meet and what sort of checks they do on mum and baby, and as your baby grows. They also show where you can get help. These free videos are easy to understand and you can download a free workbook too. Watch the videos on YouTube.
Babies and young children
Worried about a poorly child? The Little Orange Book has information and advice on everything from common minor ailments like teething, constipation and colds, to more serious conditions like measles or Covid-19 and meningitis. It explains:
- how to manage common illnesses and conditions experienced by babies and young children
- guidance on what to look out for
- using a traffic light system, when to seek help
This guide helps parents and carers to keep their kids well and prevent unnecessary trips to the GP or hospital. You can pick up your own copy of the Little Orange Book from GP surgeries, children’s centres or midwives, or download a copy from the NHS website.
The Little Orange Book was produced by Newcastle Gateshead CCG with help from GPs, health visitors, practice managers and staff, pharmacists, paediatricians and children’s nurses, as well as parents and carers. Watch Dr David Jones explain more about the Little Orange Book on YouTube.
Health information for babies, children and young people
Healthier Together is an NHS website to find accurate and trusted NHS healthcare advice across North East and North Cumbria (NENC). All the information has been checked by clinicians, to offer the best advice for parents, carers, young people and health professionals.
You can find everything from pregnancy tips and advice on poorly babies to ‘should my child go to school today?’ or emotional wellbeing for young people, and they regularly add new topics.
NHS 111 is the non emergency number to call when you need medical or dental help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
You can use NHS 111 online (for people aged 5 and over) to access advice and request a call.
In an emergency call the Emergency Services on 999.
Find local breastfeeding support groups on Newcastle Support Directory.
La Leche League provide breastfeeding information and support at: face to face meet-ups, on their national Helpline and website, by email and social media support groups.
Baby and toddler groups
These groups often take place at places of worship. Read more about Places of Worship on InformationNOW.
Children and families early help and community hubs
Being a parent can be a tough job and sometimes we all need a bit of help.
Children and Families Newcastle Early Help at Newcastle City Council can help you. You can ask for help with an ongoing problem or get help to prevent one from happening. Early Help can support your family to stay on track.
Children and Families Hubs are social spaces that offer a range of practical, educational and wellbeing activities for babies, children, young people and families. You can information, help, training and advice at:
|Location in Newcastle
|Community Hubs (including Autism)
|Fawdon Children’s Centre
|Byker Sands Family Centre
Help and services available at the hubs includes: health visiting, family support, community midwifery, mental health support, children’s therapies, youth provision, training opportunities, childcare, employability
Barnardo’s supports children, young people and families. They offer parenting advice, counselling and support services on matters such as: mental wellbeing, family breakdown, bereavement, discrimination and back to school.
Common childhood illnesses
As children begin to socialise, they pick up germs and illnesses. This is useful to help their build their immune system. There are some common illnesses to be aware of. But always remember if you are worried about the health of your child, speak to your GP. If your child is listless, floppy, hard to wake, unresponsive, go to your nearest Accident and Emergency. Read more about NHS information on common illnesses:
- Coughs, colds and ear infections
- Slapped check syndrome
- Hand, foot and mouth
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
Symptoms to be aware of
There are some illnesses which can be very serious for babies and children. Your child may not be able to tell you that they’re feeling unwell. Read through the symptoms of the illness listed below, so you can spot the signs:
Health Visitors and School Nurses are professionals from the NHS who can help you and your family to be healthy. They support children from birth to 19 years old. They can meet you at home, in a clinic or in school. Everything they do is to improve the health and wellbeing of your family.
The services they provide include:
- support for your child’s growth, development, emotional wellbeing and health
- healthy living information and advice: stop smoking advice, dental health, contraception and nutrition
They provide support in partnership with you and it’s confidential. There may be times when other support is needed and they will talk to you if they think you need additional, specialist help.
Register with a GP
Registering with your local doctor or General Practice surgery means you can access health check ups, vaccinations and help out of hours if you need it.
Read more about Your doctor or GP on InformationNOW
Find a dentist
There is no need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP because you are not bound to a catchment area.
Simply find a dental surgery that’s convenient for you, whether it’s near your home or work and phone them to see if there are any appointments available.
Coronavirus and children
The 3 main symptoms of coronavirus in children are:
- high temperature
- new or persistent cough
- loss or change to sense of taste or smell
Download an animated descriptive book for young children about coronavirus in several languages.
Vaccinations for babies and young children
Vaccinating your child protects them as they grow from serious illnesses and diseases. Without vaccinations your child could become very unwell and spread the infection to others.
Your child is offered different vaccinations throughout their life. They should get them at the right time to protect them. If you miss the vaccinations, you can ask your GP at any time and book them.
The timetable for when children are due their vaccinations is on the NHS website
Babies under 1 years old are given these vaccinations
6 in 1 vaccination to protect against:
and at other times
Vaccinations for children
Children ages 1 to 15 years
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is a combined vaccine given to children at 1 years old and a second dose at 3 years and 4 months old
- Tetanus the first 3 doses are given as part of the 6-in-1 vaccine at age 8, 12 and 16 weeks. a booster dose is given as part of the 4-in-1 pre-school booster at age 3 years and 4 months. a final dose is given as part of the 3-in-1 teenage booster at age 14
- Flu is a regular nasal spray for children aged 2 or 3 years, all primary school children, all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school, children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
- Polio is given by injection in 5 separate doses. 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, 3 years and 4 months of age, as part of the 4-in-1 (DTaP/IPV) pre-school booster at 14 years of age as part of the 3-in-1 (Td/IPV) teenage booster
- HPV or Human Papillomavirus is given to girls and boys aged 12 to 13 years (born after 1 September 2006) in two separate doses
- BCG is given on the NHS only when a child or adult is thought to have an increased risk of coming into contact with TB or tuberculosis.
Healthy Start Scheme
NHS Healthy Start Scheme is for people who are more than 10 weeks pregnant, or have children under the age of 4, who receive certain benefits. You get a free prepaid card that’s topped up every 4 weeks to buy: milk, fruit and vegetables. You can also collect free vitamins from locations listed here.
You can use the card in shops that accept Mastercard payments and sell at least one of these Healthy Start foods.
Mental Health for children and young people
Kooth is an online counselling and mental health service, available everyday. Young people can log on to access self-help materials, goal setting and one-to-one chat sessions with a qualified counsellor 365 days a year.
Patient Information Centre has a range of self help guides to support you with your mental health
Young carers are children and young people under 18 looking after someone in their family who could not manage without their support. The person you care for may have a disability, a physical or mental illness, be frail or have alcohol or drug-related problems.
Young carers take on practical and emotional caring responsibilities that would not usually be expected of a young person. This may in turn impact on their health, wellbeing and lifelong chances. Services and support are available to young carers and their families to make sure that they do not take on inappropriate or excessive caring roles.
Read more about Looking after someone on InformationNOW to find out more about how to look after yourself alongside the person you care for. Support includes: Carers breaks, a wellbeing fund, support groups, benefits advice and much more.
Caring for a young family member
Family or friends care also known as kinship care, is when grandparents or other family members step in to raise a relative’s or friend’s child. This usually happens when the child’s parents are no longer able to care for their child.
Children and Families Information
Newcastle Support Directory is the information website in Newcastle for children and families and those with Special Educational Needs (SEND). You can find more information about childcare providers, schools and SEND services.
Last updated: December 20, 2023