Toddler Health

Find out about toddler healthcare in the United Kingdom, the role of GPs, vaccinations and what to do in an emergency...

Every resident in the United Kingdom has the right to register with a doctor, and it is advisable to do so. Families usually share the same GP (General Practitioner), who will be the first port of call for any illnesses or routine check-ups. To register, the person must choose the GP surgery (or GP practice) with which they want to register, and check that it serves the area where they live.

  • To find a local doctor, see the National Health Service (NHS) website, and enter the local postcode. A list of local doctors and surgeries is given

When families register with a doctor, it is important to bring information about each person's health, and a health card from their native country if applicable. Other information required includes the person's date of birth and address.

GPs look after the general health of a person. Their responsibilities include:

  • Advice on treatments
  • Health checks
  • Examinations (one-off examinations and regular ones such as PAP smear tests)
  • Referral to other services
  • Family planning advice
  • Pregnancy, birth and baby clinics and services
  • Prescriptions
  • Child health checks (postnatal health)
  • Immunisations and vaccines
  • Health promotion and screening

Routine checks for children are advised. If there are any more serious health concerns, the GP will refer the child to a paediatrician who is usually linked to a hospital. A vaccination programme is offered and recommended for children although there are no compulsory vaccinations in the UK.

  • For information on vaccination schedules for children in the UK: Click here

In an out-of-hours non-emergency, parents should contact NHS 111 on their 24hr helpline (Tel: 111). This service helps assess whether the child needs to see a doctor, and can forward the call to emergency services, or an appropriate healthcare service if necessary.

Further Information