Children's health: migrant health guide

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

Main messages

Please refer to assessing patients with symptoms for unwell children who have recently arrived from abroad.

Consider any child’s general growth and development, and encourage those eligible for the ‘Healthy Start’ scheme to apply.

Ensure all children are up to date with the UK immunisation schedule, and opportunistically ask about any travel plans to visit the family country of origin. See NaTHNaC for travel health advice.

Consider all children’s dental healthand vision and hearing, and refer for assessment as necessary.

Children may be particularly unsettled by migration and may experience emotional, behavioural or physical symptoms as a result, and this will particularly apply to vulnerable migrants and those arriving in the UK unaccompanied.

Please see the country pages of the guide for issues relevant to specific countries.

Be aware that other religions and cultures may have different beliefs or practices around babies and children, for example, particular rites for babies. Ask about the parent or guardian’s beliefs or understanding of child health issues.

Be aware of cultural practices that may expose children to non-infectious environmental hazards.


Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 25 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Made editorial changes to meet GOV.UK style.
  2. First published.