What parents and caregivers need to know
Family members are a vital part of the healthcare team and are often best positioned to recognize the sometimes subtle, yet very important changes in your baby, infant, child or adolescent’s condition that may indicate deterioration. You may not know what is wrong, but you know something just isn't right.
Empower yourself and your loved ones with the following resource. It will help you recognize the signs of deteriorating patient condition.
Download a printable version of the resource in additional languages.
SIGNS - Spot severe illness in infants children & adolescents
SIGNS is for anyone caring for babies, infants, children or adolescents.
If you notice any of the SIGNS seek medical attention immediately.
Not reacting, not moving, not responding
Unusual movements, clumsy, slurred speech
Long pauses between breaths
8 hours or more
Vomit / throwing up
Poop / poo
New skin tone or colour
Infant less than one month old
Not getting better with treatment
Printable Resource: SIGNS – Spot Severe Illness in Infants, Children and Adolescents
The SIGNS resource is also available in the following languages. Please download a printable version of the resource in your preferred language.
Free Printable Posters
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An expert panel consisting of parents and multi-disciplinary providers created the Severe Illness Getting Noticed Sooner (SIGNS)-for-Kids as a public health tool to help parents and caregivers identify and articulate the manifestations of severe illness in children.
We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the expert panel members of the SIGNS for Kids Consortium:
Christopher Parshuram MB.ChB, D.Phil.
Kristen Middaugh RN, BScN
Dawn Hartfield BSc Med, MPH, MD, FRCPC
Joelle Fawcett-Arsenault PHEc (parent representative)
Melissa Jones BA MA (parent representative)
Gregory Moore MD, MSt (c), FRCPC
Karen Dryden-Palmer MSN, RN
Simran Singh RN, BScN, ENC (c)
Ann Bayliss MD, FRCPC
David Bayfield MD,CCFP(EM)
Sean Murray MD, FRCPC
Jonathan Gilleland MD, FRCPC
Martin McNamara MD, CCFP (EM)
Michelle Gordon MD, FRCPC
Lisa Ladouceur PHC-NP
Anthony lacolucci HonBSc RRT
Jane Stuart-Minaret RN, BScN, MN
Mohamed Eltorki MD
Angelo Mikrogianakis MD. Msc
Tania Principi MD
Seth Gray MD
Pragash Longonathan MD
Hilary Whyte MB.BCh. BAO. MSc. FRCPI. FRCPC
Helena Frndova Dipl-Ing
Zoe Parshuram BSc (Hons).
Use or reproduction of this resource is permitted within Canada for non-commercial purposes only. This resource is provided “as is” and is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace the judgment of a healthcare professional. Those preparing and/or contributing to this publication disclaim all liability or warranty of any kind, whether express or implied.
This work was supported by Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC). HEC is an independent, not-for-profit charity funded primarily by Health Canada; the views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of Health Canada.