Helpful Information for children and young people
If you have a concern or enquiry about your health or someone else’s, whether it is physical or mental health, you should tell an adult you trust.
For example you could talk to your parents, carers, school nurse or teacher, social worker or your doctor.
If you do decide to talk to your doctor or are coming to Alder Hey as a patient and you have some questions, here are some helpful hints.
Going to the doctor or to the hospital
Before you go:
- Make a list of what you really want to know. Or get someone else to write them down for you
- Bring a list of any medicines and pills that you take
- If you have aches, pains or feelings that make you feel unwell make a note of them too
- Write down when the symptoms started and what you find makes them better or worse
It is important that you understand what the doctor has said to you. Before you leave the appointment, make sure you know what they think may be wrong with you and what will happen next.
If you don’t fully understand what has been discussed...
You could say:
- “Can I check that I understood what you have told me.”
Then repeat what you have been told.
- If you still do not understand the information, ask for it to be explained again
- You could ask the doctor or nurse to write down any difficult words so you can look them up later
- Write down the information you have been told
- You can ask if there are any information leaflets or websites that would be useful
If you need to have treatment, tests or other procedures...
You could ask:
- Why do I need this?
- What will happen?
- Will it hurt?
- How will I know if it is working?
- How good is it?
- What will happen if I don’t want the test or procedure or treatment?
- Will I get the results of the tests or treatments?
- When will I get the results?
- Who should we contact if I don’t get the results?
- Is there anything I should stop doing which would help me get better?
- Is there anything else I can do to help myself?
If you want to know what will happen next...
You could ask:
- What happens afterwards?
- Should I come back and see you again?
- Who should I talk to if things get worse?
- Do you have any leaflets about my illness or treatment that I could read?
- Where can I get more information?
Before you leave...
- You have done everything on your list.
- You know what should happen next and when it should happen.
It is important you understand what you have been told.
Looking for health information on the internet
Lots of people look on the internet and it can be a useful source of information. Please remember anyone can post information on the internet so you do not always know if it is reliable. There is lots of reliable information about health conditions and treatments on the NHS website.
Before you start searching the internet...
- Why you are looking for the information
- What type you are looking for
- How you are going to find the information
- What you are going to do with the information
You can find information by using a search engine. Remember though that the sites shown on your search results page are not necessarily ordered by how reliable the information on them is. A good place to start is by searching on the NHS website for conditions and treatments.
When searching for information, try to be clear about the information you are looking for. You can use quotation marks to search for words linked together to receive more specific results. For example, “bronchitis in children and hospital”.
Some things to look out for when checking out a website...
- Check out the home section on the about us links on the website – this should give you some idea about who put the information onto the web
- Does the information come from the UK or abroad? Remember not all the information from other countries applies to the UK
- See if there are any dates for when the information was posted and when it is due to be updated
- Who is the information for? Web pages aimed at children and young people will look different than those aimed at adults or health professionals
- What is the purpose of the website? Is it selling something or directing you to another site with different information?
- Is the information easy to understand?
Useful sources of information
- NHS Choices: The biggest health website in the UK.
- Barnardo’s Action with Young Carers, Liverpool and Wirral: Provides support to young carers under the age of 18 years living in Liverpool and Wirral.
- ADHD Foundation: Children and young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be offered a place on a group where they can learn skills to manage their condition.
- Brook Advisory Service: A national organisation offering information and confidential sexual health and contraception services and a range of other information e.g. wellbeing and staying safe.
- Young Person Advisory Service: This local organisation provides support for a range of issues to young people aged 10–25 years. Phone number 0151 707 1025.
- Talk to Frank: This is a national organisation providing information support and guidance about drugs.
- Merseyside Youth Association: This local organisation runs a range of projects including healthy eating, Disability Advisory Council, music and counselling.
- Young Addactions (08000 196 197 – free from landlines): An organisation offering information and counselling to children aged eight and over about drugs and alcohol.
- Fagends (0800 195 2131): This is a community based organisation to help anyone trying to stop smoking. Support groups are run throughout Liverpool.
- Childline (0800 1111): Childline is a confidential service range of topics for children and young people up to the age of 19.
- Mermaids (0844 334 0550 or 0344 334 0550 – calls to 0844 numbers are charged at 7p pm, plus the charge from the call provider): This organisation offers support for children and teenagers with gender identity issues.
Alder Hey Children and Young People’s Forum
At Alder Hey, children and young people remain at the heart of everything we do. If you would like to get more involved, you can become a member of our Children and Young People’s Forum.