Grandparents urged to learn the signs and symptoms of meningitis

Nans and Grandads are being encouraged to be on the lookout for the early signs of meningitis when caring for their grandchildren.

To coincide with Grandparents’ Day on Sunday (October 7), national charity, the Meningitis Trust, is seeking to raise awareness of the potentially fatal disease among senior citizens.

Statistics show grandparents are spending more time with their grandchildren than ever before, with many mums and dads now both working full-time.

It is estimated that in the UK 60 per cent of childcare provision is by grandparents.

Grandparents Day was launched as a special thank you day for nans and granddads in 1990 and the Meningitis Trust is keen to work with older people as they fall into one of the most at-risk age categories, along with babies and the under 5s.

Sue Davie, chief executive at the Meningitis Trust, said: “Three children a week can die from the deadly bacterial meningitis which can kill in just hours if the symptoms go unrecognised. Grandparents need to be vigilant in spotting the early signs of the disease, which often starts off like flu and is usually more prevalent during the cold winter months.

“In the case of babies and toddlers warning signs include refusing food, vomiting and becoming floppy and unresponsive. Parents and grandparents need to act quickly if they are worried about their children.”

To find out more about the signs and symptoms of meningitis visit, call 08088 010388 or download a free app at

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (October 11) Echo.