Abbey Wood Grange Nursery
South Croydon’s Premier Nursery School

Abbeywood Grange Preschool Nursery Advises Sepsis Signals

What Is sepsis and how can Parents and Practitioners spot the early warnings signs? Sepsis is known as the ‘silent killer’ and is one of the most common causes of death in the UK Sepsis is a life-threatening condition in which the body’s response to an infection causes damage to tissues and organs. The immune system goes into overdrive trying to fight the infection, it can release chemicals into the bloodstream rather than targeting the infection itself. Treatment is possible usually antibiotics, oxygen and fluids however the NHS says that medication must be delivered within an hour of diagnosis to avoid serious complications or death. Sepsis can result in the loss of limbs or organ failure and Sepsis deaths in England’s hospital have risen by more than a third in 2 years. It affects more than 250,000 adults and children in the UK every year, claiming 52,000 lives – that’s more than any cancer! Two thirds of survivors suffer life-changing after-effects, yet, despite the shocking statistics, awareness of sepsis is far too low. The key to fighting sepsis is awareness.
The NHS advise the following when spotting Sepsis in children.
Go straight to A&E or call 999 if a child has any of these symptoms

  • Looks mottled, blush or pale
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a rash that doesn’t fade with pressure
  • Has a fit or convulsion

Call 111 for urgent medical advice if a child has any of the following symptoms, is getting worse or is sicker than expected.


  • Over 38c in babies under 3 months
  • Over 39c in babies aged 3-6 months
  • Any high temperature in a child who cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
  • A low temperature ( below 36c ) check 3 times in a 10 minute period


  • Finding it much harder to breathe than normal
  • Making ‘grunting’ noises with every breath
  • Unable to say more than a few words at once
  • Breathing that ‘pauses’


  • No wee or wet nappies for 12 hours

Eating and drinking

  • Baby under 1 month old with no interest in feeding
  • Not drinking for more than 8 hours when awake
  • Bile-stained (green) bloody or black vomit

Activity and body

  • Soft spot on head bulging
  • ‘sunken’ looking eyes
  • Child cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
  • Baby is floppy
  • Weak ‘whining’ or continuous crying in younger child
  • Older child is confused
  • Unresponsive or very irritable
  • Stiff neck, especially when trying to look up and down.
  • More information can be found at

Trust you gut instinct and get help, it is better to be wrong than sorry

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash