If I think someone has meningitis symptoms, when do I go to hospital?
Someone who has meningitis or septicaemia can become seriously ill very quickly, so always trust your instincts and get medical help fast by speaking to a health professional.
The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion.
It is important to understand that not everyone gets all the meningitis and septicaemia symptoms: they can appear in any order.
What to do if you think your baby or child is unwell with meningitis or septicaemia
Parents or carers are often unsure when to call for medical help when they suspect meningitis or septicaemia (the blood poisoning form of meningitis, often called sepsis).
That is why we have worked with health professionals to create this red and amber symptoms checker, to tell you what actions to take. Often called our safety-netting resources, these will guide you on what are high or medium risk symptoms, and what to do.