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  • Writer's pictureDr Andy Raffles

Advice for Parents - Covid19

We fully appreciate that coronavirus is especially worrying for all our families. We will do our absolute best to support you and please be assured that any advice given by us will be aimed to keep everyone safe. You will be aware that directives are changing everyday as more understanding and information on this virus is gathered.

The good news as far as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 illness is that, by all accounts, it is a minor threat to your children, even with a tendency to bronchial hyper-responsiveness. All current information indicates that children under 10 - and most 19 year olds and under - are not getting sick. The majority of children who develop symptoms will in fact have a flu A or B illness, or a simple cold.

So be reassured that children do not seem to be at risk of becoming seriously ill if they come down with the COVID-19 virus. you should be aware that the common cold is a coronavirus and that children typically catch at least 5 to 6 common colds a year. This means that children have a more active immune response, because they're always stimulated. This is all very reassuring.

If one of your children develops cold-like symptoms, just follow this advice:

  • If they are sick, keep them at home

  • Avoidance of any events with large crowds such as play gyms, birthday parties, or other types of child centred play

  • Use paracetamol for fever

  • Follow your local nursery or school guidelines as to when the children can return, although most likely your child's school will have now closed

If an otherwise healthy child has a low-grade fever, you can call us or your GP, list the symptoms your child is experiencing and inquire as to what you should do next. We would be only concerned and would ask you to arrange a telephone consultation in the first instance if:

  • If your child won't drink

  • Has not wet a nappy within 12 hours

  • Hasn't passed urine within the last 12 hours

  • If they wake up very tired

  • If they become increasingly breathless

in the absence of these type of red flag symptoms giving regular paracetamol to control fever will be sufficient and offering fluids.

We would advise that in general, parents and carers should demonstrate good common sense over the next few week, with the school closures and as social life scales back. Avoiding parties, busy public spaces, grandparents or anyone with symptoms of colds is recommended for all. Keeping children busy with activities is a good distraction, for both parents, carers and children, so make sure you have plenty of activity related materials at home.

Encourage your child with hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly.

Remember it is important for parents to stay as outwardly calm as possible - even if inwardly they might be anxious. Children react a lot to anxiety around them, be that a parent or teacher.

It is important for us as parents, and as adults, to make sure our young people stay clam, and that we all get through this without them being unnecessarily worried.

I hope this helps reduce some of your worries at this time.


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