What to do: Emergency and Advice Numbers

When you need advice on a specific area such as meningitis, asthma, cot death, eating disorders or perhaps allergies, there is a large number of resources, many with websites, available to help you. We have put together this page containing many of our favourites, as is the case with our site, you can find high quality information and in-depth advice on some complex issues.

Find a Local Service by Texting 61121

NHS Direct provides a handy text messaging service which will help you find the closest GP, dentist, pharmacy, optician, walk-in centre, A&E or hospital in England. All you have to do is to text the name of the service required, followed by a postcode, to 61121 and you will receive a text message in reply, with the service name, address and telephone number (where available), plus the distance from the postcode you supplied.

As an example, to find a local GP you would text the word GP and your full postcode to 61121 – e.g. GP SG4 9SY. If callers would like an extra three results, reply ‘more’ to the first message. The seven key words to access the seven local health services are: GP; dentist; pharmacy; optician; walk; casualty; hospital.

Emergency Numbers For First Aid

In a medical emergency you should call 999 or go to your local A&E department. But if you’re simply concerned about something like your child’s temperature, then NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk provides a great service. It’s staffed by trained personnel with access to extensive databases.

First Aid Skills

It’s always useful to know what to do if your child has an accident. Good quality first aid tips are available on the web, or you might want to consider a first aid or life-saving course.

St John Ambulance, (08700 10 49 50, www.sja.org.uk) offers training courses to both adults and children and their website contains a handy first aid advice section.

The Red Cross, (0844 871 11 11, www.redcross.org.uk) provides similar services to St John Ambulance.

Royal Life Saving Society, (01789 773994, www.lifesavers.org.uk) offers courses which could help you save a child from drowning and increase your own confidence in the water.

Specific Health Issues

Some illnesses can be extremely frightening for both parents and children. It is useful to familiarise yourself with symptoms of some of the more serious ones:

The Meningitis Foundation (080 8800 3344, 24 hour)

National Asthma Campaign (0800 121 62 44, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

Eating Disorders
Eating Disorders Association (0845 634 1414)

Anaphylaxis Campaign (01252 542029)
British Allergy Foundation (01322 619898) www.allergyuk.org
Immunisation – NHS Direct (0845 4647) www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk

Keeping Children Safe

Two million children are taken to hospital every year as a result of accidents. The SafeKids website aims to offer advice and features to help parents and carers to help keep children safe. The following organisations may also be useful:

Home Safety
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoSPA (0121 248 2000,
Child Accident Prevention Society, CAPT (020 7608 3828,

Road Safety
Think Road Safety (
Brake – road safety charity (0845 603 8570,

Daycare Trust (
4 Children Charity (
National Childminding Association (0845 880 0044,

Anti-bullying Campaign (0207 378 1446, Mon-fri, 9.30am-5.00pm)
Childline (0800 1111,
Antibullying.net (
Kidscape (

Childline (0800 1111,
Kidscape – See above
NSPCC (0808 800 5000,

Internet Safety
Kidsmart (020 7639 6967,

Product Safety
Department of Trade and Industry (
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (0121 248 2000,
Trading Standards (

Home office (

Leave a comment

Safe Kids