Sepsis in Children Parent Information

If your child’s condition changes or worsens after seeing the doctor then please get in touch. The information below about sepsis is designed to help remind you of some of the warning signs of their illness becoming more serious. 


Sepsis is when the body’s immune system responds abnormally to an infection, untreated it can cause damage to the body, organs and even death. Each year over 25,000 children experience sepsis in the UK.


Sepsis can be triggered by any infection the most common are pneumonia and urinary tract infections. It can also be triggered by infected wounds, bites or skin infections. They might appear to have a bad flu or stomach infection. 


You should seek help straightaway if your child has any of the signs below, if you can’t reach a doctor straight away call 999:

Is breathing very fast

Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion

Has clammy, cold skin and looks blue, pale or patchy (mottled)

Has a rash that does no fade when you press it

Is very lethargic or difficult to wake

Feels abnormally cold to touch


Other symptoms which suggest sepsis include:

Chills and shivering

Severe tummy (abdominal) and muscle pain

Being confused or not sure where they are

Slurred speech 

Feeling very dizzy or faint


In young children under 5 years of age:

Not eating any food or drinking any fluid

Being sick (vomiting) repeatedly

Not passing urine or having a wet nappy for more than 12 hours


If you are worried about an infection or if their condition has changed since your consultation please call the practice and let the staff know you are concerned about sepsis.