If your child has any of the following:

  • Is pale, mottled and feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Is going blue around the lips or has pauses in their breathing (apnoeas) or has an irregular breathing pattern
  • Severe difficulty in breathing - too breathless to talk or eat/drink
  • Has a fit/seizure
  • Becomes extremely agitated (crying inconsolably despite distraction), confused or very lethargic (difficult to wake)
  • Develops a rash that does no disappear with pressure (see the 'Glass Test')






You need urgent help.

Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999

If your child has any of the following:

  • Continues to have a fever of 38.0°C or above for more than 5 days
  • Develops pain and redness of the lymph node
  • Lymph nodes increasing in size - bigger than a 10 pence coin
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Losing weight






You need to contact a doctor or nurse today.

Please ring your GP surgery or contact NHS Wales111 

If your child:

  • Continues to have enlarged lymph nodes that are slowly improving but he/she is otherwise healthy
  • Small lymph nodes may persist for years






Self care

Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, ring your GP surgery or contact NHS Wales111 

  • Use painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol to keep your child comfortable - please read and follow the instructions on the medicine container.

  • It is normal for lymph nodes in your child's neck to be enlarged when they have an infection such as a sore throat. This is your child's normal response to fighting common infections. Antibiotics are not normally required.
  • Children with severe eczema often have enlarged lymph nodes. This will improve with treatment of your child's eczema.

  • Occasionally, enlarged lymph nodes can become infected. If the lymph node is painful, red and hot, your child will need to see a healthcare professional because they may need treatment with antibiotics.
  • If your child has been prescribed antibiotics for an infection of their lymph nodes and still has a fever after 2 days, they will need to be seen again.

  • Your child should start getting better within a couple of days but their lymph nodes may take 2-4 weeks to improve. Small lymph nodes may persist for years.

LEFT: Painless enlarged lymph nodes on both sides of the neck (bilateral) associated with a sore throat - likely to improve without treatment.

RIGHT: Painful, hot swelling on left side of neck caused by an infected lymph node - requires treatment with antibiotics

This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

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