Care for children

Emergency Departments - care for children is always available

In an emergency or life threatening situation, you should always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

If it is an emergency, emergency care for children is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at seven metropolitan hospitals.

Some conditions that are not life-threatening for an adult can be more serious for babies and young children.

Young babies with fever, especially in the first few months of life, need to be assessed by a doctor. Other concerning symptoms include poor feeding, vomiting, lethargy or irritability and skin rash. Difficulty breathing is concerning for all children.

For minor illness or injury, there are a range of care options to consider, including your local GP or pharmacy. Local health services, including information about after hours services, can be found through the National Health Services Directory at

Preventing illness

There are a range of things you can do to minimise your risk of getting sick, especially during the winter months.

  • Remember to wash, wipe and cover and maintain good hand hygiene if you or your child are sick. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and encourage your children to do the same.
  • Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious infection that is more serious than the common cold. Children aged six months and older can receive an annual vaccination against seasonal flu. This can reduce your child’s chance of getting the flu and reduce the severity of flu symptoms if they do catch the flu. Speak to your GP or immunisation provider about getting a flu vaccination this winter.
  • Eating nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables can help keep you and your family’s immune system strong. It is also important to keep hydrated in winter, so ensure you drink plenty of water.

Find out about other healthy living tips.

This information is a guide only and is not intended to be individual medical advice and should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace consultation with a qualified doctor or other health care professional.

If symptoms don’t improve, or get worse, phone or visit a GP. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

^ Back to top