Childhood infections: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients for healthcare practitioners.

Main messages

Please refer to assessing migrant patients with symptoms for non-UK born children who have recently arrived in the UK or who have returned from visiting friends and relatives abroad.

Ensure that non-UK born children are brought up to date with the UK immunisation schedule.

Follow national guidelines to prevent the spread of infection in schools and other childcare settings, and report statutorily notifiable diseases.


Most childhood infections are vaccine preventable. The range of childhood infections that occur in children born in the UK may also occur in non-UK born children.

Some diseases may be more common in children born abroad, especially vaccine preventable diseases if they have not been fully immunised. Immunisation coverage and incidence of childhood diseases is highly variable throughout the world; see WHO for country specific information.

Bring children born abroad up to date with the UK immunisation schedule and refer to the algorithm.

Many of the descriptions and images used to describe and demonstrate typical rashes associated with childhood infections are based on their appearance in white skin. Be aware that they may look different in pigmented skin.

Help to prevent the spread of infection by giving advice in accordance with infection control guidelines for schools and childcare facilities.

Be aware that many childhood infections are statutorily notifiable.


See Public Health England (PHE) pages for further information about individual childhood diseases:

Covered by UK immunisation schedule

Other diseases

PHE have produced national guidance:

Published 31 July 2014