Give examples of when medical intervention is necessary

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.5: Understand how to support children who are unwell
Learning outcome: Know the signs of ill health in children
Assessment criteria: Give examples of when medical intervention is necessary


There are several signs and symptoms that could indicate that a child requires medical intervention within an Early Years setting. Several of these are included in the list below:

  • Fever (over 38°C if under three months, or over 39°C for children aged three to six months)
  • A rash or other sign of illness accompanied by a fever (also be aware of any rash that does not fade when rolling a glass over it, as this could be a sign of meningitis)
  • A fever that has lasted five days or more
  • Breathing difficulties or difficulty in gaining breath
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Signs of dehydration, such as dry nappies or no tears when crying
  • Prolonged tiredness, drowsiness or lethargy
  • Loss of consciousness or responsiveness
  • Signs of anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) such as swelling
  • A stiff neck
  • Shaking or convulsions
  • Blue or pale skin
  • Unusual behaviours

If in doubt, always seek medical advice. Early intervention is key in treating many illnesses and conditions, so it is always better to err on the side of caution.

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