Doctor Advice

Some words of advice from our Trustees:

Your child's GP or paediatrician should be your first port of call for medical advice.

Always seek urgent medical advice from GP/NHS 111/ Emergency Department if you are concerned about your child's health.
The Down Syndrome Association also carries advice and information on their website, which may be helpful for non-urgent queries 


Doctor John Loftus
Consultant Community Paediatrician

It’s essential to continue to be watchful about all health concerns that might need professional medical help including common childhood illness. In the current times it can be genuinely worrying about going to your GP or hospital but it’s really important not to delay seeking medical advice and care for a sick child so that any treatment can be started early rather than late.

If you do take your child to your GP or hospital its worth considering the following:

  • Be clear about what’s normal or typical for your child and what works with him or her in terms of communication and interaction so that doctors and nurses can engage with him or her to minimise additional distress, e.g. emphasising that most children with DS are great visual learners. If you have a communication passport for your child consider bringing it with you
  • Ring ahead so you know where to go and if you can, think about preparing your child for meeting staff dressed in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment- gowns, masks gloves, visors, goggles)
  • Advise doctors and nurses if your child has sensory processing difficulties (very common in DS) and think about preparing your child for new sensations such as BP cuffs, oxygen saturation probes, face masks.

We are including a one-page child profile template download which could be useful to take in with you to hospital if your child is unwell. Your own paediatrician team may have their own versionof this so ask about what is availablelocally to you.

Click the link below to download the sheet


One-page Profile Template Sheet

Here is a link to a nice pair of articles about infection in children with Down syndrome from The Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group:




Doctor Maria Finnis
Consultant Community Paediatrician

From what we currently know, children with Covid-19 infections mostly experience mild respiratory symptoms, and Down syndrome does not appear to be a specific risk factor in itself. However, children with Down syndrome can be more susceptible to respiratory infections in general.

Some children with Down syndrome may have additional pre-existing health conditions which would put them in a higher-risk group, such as heart disease, diabetes, long-term respiratory conditions or immunosuppression.

You should take advice from your child’s paediatrician or GP about any specific precautions that you and your family need to take, over and above the universal advice about careful hand hygiene and social distancing. 

It is important that you continue to access your routine health appointments, including for immunisations. Your local hospital and GP teams will tell you how to access them. 

It is also important that if your child is unwell or injured for any reason, that you seek medical advice and support just as you usually would.

The following document has been developed to help parents decide who to contact if they are concerned about their child:

If you do need to go to hospital with your child, rest assured that one parent will be able to stay with your child, although siblings may not be able to visit.

You will also notice that clinical staff will be wearing face masks as personal protective equipment. This is to keep you and them safe from the virus. Children may find this scary and so if you have the opportunity, you may like to warn your child about this and reassure them that underneath the masks the doctors and nurses are the same smiling people who are there to help them!


General advice:

NHS advice:

NHS 111 coronavirus online service:

Government updates:

National Autistic Society:

Down Syndrome Association updates: