The information is designed to support children, young people, their parents, and carers whilst they are waiting for hospital treatment.
Children’s dental services operate across the Tees Valley. Your child may be under the care of a local community dental service, or our consultant-led team based in one of the region’s hospitals. The most common procedure we perform is removal of decayed teeth, but we also offer surgical and comprehensive care such as removal of buried teeth or fillings in adult teeth.
Guidance for patients
It is really important that your child continues to take care of their teeth whilst they are waiting for surgery. This will stop new holes developing.
The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry have produced some useful videos to help:
This information leaflet from the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry is also helpful
If your child is waiting for an appointment or surgery, they may experience pain or discomfort. The first line of treatment is pain relief that you can buy over the counter. Your local pharmacy can provide advice on what medication is best for your child, frequency and the dose.
“By the clock, by the mouth, by the ladder”
It is important to follow the 3 main World Health Organisation (WHO) pain relief ladder principals:
- By the clock
To maintain freedom from pain, drugs should be given “by the clock” or “around the clock” rather than only “on demand”. This means they are given on a regularly scheduled basis.
- By the mouth
Giving the pain relief via the mouth (orally) is usually preferred. However, it may not be possible for children if they are vomiting or unable to take anything by mouth.
- By the ladder
If pain occurs there should be prompt administration of pain relief. At home you should give pain relief such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen first unless there is a medical reason not to. If your child is still in pain after this step or you are concerned you should seek medical advice.
If you are concerned about your child’s condition, please contact your GP, NHS 111, the dentist or the hospital department they have been referred to. If something changes, the hospital will review how urgent your child’s condition is and re prioritise them if necessary.
More information for professionals can be found via the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists Great Britain and Ireland.
Sepsis is the most common avoidable cause of death in the UK.
You will know when your child is unwell. Sepsis can be very hard to identify as many of it’s signs are also common in routine childhood illnesses.
It’s important to trust your instincts. If your child seems sicker than usual or something just doesn’t seem right, call your GP, NHS 111 or seek urgent medical help.
30% of children attending the Emergency Department (A&E) have a fever but only 1% will have sepsis.
Some signs to watch out for include:
S: Shivering, fever, or a very cold
E: Extreme pain or discomfort
P: Pale or discoloured skin or rash that doesn’t fade when pressed,
fast or racing heartbeat
S: Sleepy, difficult to rouse, confused, trouble waking up, sick, fitting
I: “I feel like I might die”
S: Short of breath or fast breathing
Sepsis is more common in those who have a higher chance of getting an infection in the first place, such as:
- babies under 3 months; this is also called neonatal sepsis.
- people who just had surgery.
- those whose immune systems are weakened from conditions such as HIV, cancer, or transplants.
You can help protect your child from infection:
Get your kids immunised on the recommended schedule. Routine vaccines help prevent bacteria and viruses from causing infections that can lead to sepsis
Encourage regular hand washing
Clean any cuts or scrapes well. Keep a close eye on them to be sure they’re healing as expected
If your child has a medical device (like a catheter or long-term Intravenous Venous line), follow the doctor’s directions for cleaning and using it
If your child is sick and is not getting better, call your doctor or get medical care. If your child is prescribed antibiotics, give all doses exactly as directed.
If your child seems sicker than normal to you or is being treated for an infection that’s not getting better or gets worse, trust your gut and call the doctor or get medical help right away. Ask the doctor, “Could it be sepsis?”
Good mental health
We know things may be difficult for your child while they are waiting to have their treatment. There is support available if they are feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed.
Free text and online support
Shout – all ages
With this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week crisis text messaging service, you can send a text message any time of day or night wherever you are – every conversation is with a real person.
- You don’t need an app or data and there’s no registration process
- It’s silent and won’t appear on your phone bill
- It’s confidential and anonymous
Are you, or is a young person you know, not coping with life?
Kooth is an emotional wellbeing and digital mental health support service available to children and young people aged 11 to 25. Providing immediate access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced, accredited counsellors.
The service is free and there are no waiting times, no referrals, no thresholds to meet and complete anonymity.
Kooth is open for support 365 days a year, between 12 noon to 10pm and 6pm to 10pm on weekends and holidays.
To find more information and to sign up click here.
If there is an immediate risk of danger to life, you should ring 999.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.