Children's Health Ireland has said it is seeing a 50% increase in the number of children presenting to their emergency departments at Temple Street, Crumlin and Tallaght, and Urgent Care Centre in Connolly, compared to the same period in 2019.

It has said that the usual numbers are 300-400 patients a day across the various sites, but that they are now seeing more than 600 patients a day.

Consultant in emergency medicine at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin Dr Carol Blackburn said the situation was very challenging, with longer waiting times for the less unwell children.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

CHI said parents should consider visiting their GP and local pharmacy, but if their child needs emergency or urgent care to attend their nearest emergency department.

CHI said the increase in numbers is due to the early rise in seasonal respiratory illness and viruses in children, as seen internationally.

It is advising parents to have their children vaccinated against influenza as soon as possible, as the flu season is coming.