We know that one of the challenges for everyone is distinguishing coronavirus from other common illnesses, particularly among children. A reminder that the symptoms of Covid-19 which mean that the household must self-isolate and the parent is advised to arrange a test are:
- a high temperature over 38°C
- continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if the child usually has a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss of taste and smell
If a child is unwell with other symptoms such as sore throat, earache, stomach ache, runny nose, skin rashes, or a winter-related illness such as norovirus with vomiting and diarrhoea, then parents are advised to check online health condition advice – is my child too ill to go to school, and contact their local pharmacy or GP if they need further help. The NHS 111 phone line should only be used for an urgent medical problem where parents or carers are unsure what to do. If a child is too ill to attend school, the parent or carer should advise the school as per normal and arrange to care for the child at home until they are well enough to return. Children with these symptoms do not need to arrange a test, and members of their household do not need to self-isolate unless they are also experiencing a high temperature, continuous cough, or loss of taste and smell.
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS USEFUL FLOWCHART WHICH GIVES CLEAR ADVICE FOR PARENTS ON WHETHER CHILDREN SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL OR NOT
GPs and other health professionals are not able to provide letters, notes or evidence that a child is Covid-19 free or if a child has been told to self-isolate.
Please also note the new public information campaign ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign which has been launched ahead of winter to highlight how everyone can help to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance contains actions for education settings.
Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, the new Public Health England (PHE) Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental well-being, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them.
The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing. The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.