National Reyes Syndrome Foundation UK

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Information for Parents, Young Adults and General Public

What should be done if symptoms of Reye's Syndrome develop?

Advice to parents

If your child shows symptoms of Reye' syndrome and -

  • loses consciousness
  • has a fit or convulsions (violent, irregular limb movements)

DIAL 999 to ask for an ambulance, or go straight to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.   

Consult your general practitioner (GP) immediately if after having a cold, flu or chickenpox
your child is
  • vomiting repeatedly
  • unusually tired
  • displays personality or behavioural changes

Tell your GP if for whatever reason your child has been given a product containing aspirin.

Ideally take the aspirin container/patient information leaflet with you. This would alert the GP  to consider Reye's syndrome as part of his/her diagnosis.  Statistics indicate a better chance of survival when Reye's syndrome is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. The later the diagnosis, the more advanced the coma and the chances of survival and full recovery are greatly reduced.

Further advice about looking after a sick child can be found by consulting the website "Looking after a sick child NHS/UK". See Resources & Reports opposite.

Reye's syndrome can successfully be managed with a good outcome if diagnosed early and meticulously treated.


Next review December 2019