Advice for parents during coronavirus
Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.
Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured. Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done. Here is some advice to help:
Respiratory Illnesses - Help and Advice
Parents and carers in Lancashire and South Cumbria advised to be aware of the signs of respiratory illnesses and when to get help
Respiratory illnesses, including colds and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are very common in young children and we see them every year. RSV in particular are common viruses that cause coughs and colds in winter and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in children under two. In the UK, the RSV season typically begins in the autumn – earlier than the adult flu season – and runs throughout the winter. However, this year we are now seeing this presenting in children much sooner.
Vanessa Wilson, programme lead for women’s and children’s services in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “Young children can typically have several coughs or cold-like illnesses each year. Children gradually build up immunity and get fewer colds with colds generally getting better in five to seven days.
“The early symptoms of bronchiolitis are similar to those of a common cold, such as a runny nose and a cough. But further symptoms can develop over the next few days and may include a slight high temperature (fever), a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, and rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).”
Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious, but parents and carers should contact their GP or call freephone NHS 111 if:
- You’re worried about your child
- Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last 2 or 3 feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more
- Your child has a persistent high temperature of 38C or above
- your child seems very tired or irritable.
Parents and carers are also advised to dial 999 for an ambulance if:
- Your baby is having difficulty breathing.
- Your baby's tongue or lips are blue.
- There are long pauses in your baby's breathing.
Babies born since the COVID-19 pandemic have not had as much exposure to common viruses which would build up their immune system. As measures such as social distancing and mask wearing are relaxed, Public Health England are expecting to see an increase in cases this season.
Dr Darran Harris, a GP in West Lancashire and Primary Care Network clinical director, said: “Understandably, parents are more alert to cold-like symptoms which may often be confused with coronavirus yet can be apprehensive about contacting the NHS unnecessarily.
“For some infants and babies, such as those born prematurely or with a heart condition, bronchiolitis can be more severe. If your child becomes breathless, their tongue or lips are blue, or there are long pauses in their breathing - the advice is to call 999 for an ambulance immediately.
“Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if you’re worried about your child, they’re not feeding properly, they have a persistent high temperature of 38C or above, or they seem very tired or irritable.”
There are simple steps you can take to reduce the spread of all viruses:
- Use tissues to catch coughs or sneezes, bin the used tissues as soon as possible and wash your hands with soap and warm water to kill the germs.
- Children with flu or bronchiolitis symptoms should stay home and reduce contacts where possible.
- Particularly avoid close contact with newborn babies, infants born prematurely (before 37 weeks), children under 2 born with heart or lung conditions, and those with weakened immune systems.
Patient Participation Group (PPG)
We are hoping to restart our PPG meetings virtually, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be involved.
Face Masks / coverings
Please bring a face mask / covering if you are asked to attend the surgery, more information is available at https://www.keepsafe.org.uk/mask
Do you need support with your mental health?
If you need support with your mental health, have a look at:
Big White Wall (BWW) is a digital mental health support service which is available online, 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Professionally trained Wall Guides monitor the community to ensure the safety and anonymity of all members. In addition to BWW’s online community, you will have access to a wealth of useful resources and can work through tailored self-help courses covering topics such as anxiety, sleep, weight management, depression and many more.
Spinal drop in clinics
Spinal drop in clinics have now ceased operation, although the service is still running you will need to be referred, if you feel that you require advice or help for a musculoskeletal / physiotherapy problem affecting your muscles, bones and joints, first have a look at the leaflets and exercise videos at: https://www.elht.nhs.uk/services/integrated-msk-pain-and-rheumatology-service
And then contact us if you need a referral.
I have symptoms of cancer what should I do during the coronavirus outbreak?
You should still contact us if you notice a change that isn't normal for you or if you have any possible signs and symptoms of cancer.
Even if you're worried about what the symptom might be, or about getting coronavirus don't delay contacting us. Your worry is unlikely to go away if you don't make an appointment. The symptom might not be due to cancer. But if it is, the earlier it's picked up the higher the chance of successful treatment. You won't be wasting our time.
This video explains the importance of going to your GP if you notice any possible cancer symptoms. It lasts for 42 seconds.
There is more information at https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/coronavirus/cancer-symptoms
Good Day Calls
Would you or an elderly relative be interested in receiving a regular 'Good Day' call?
Age UK are offering a daily call providing reassurance, security and support by a trained member of their team to check on the welfare of you or an older relative or friend. We know that if you live alone it can be difficult not to have someone to talk to, especially if you do not have regular contact with family members. This can be an extremely anxious time for people and we know you may worry that no one will notice if you become ill or are without the practical assistance and emotional support you need.
In addition to providing reassurance and practical support they will also chat about interests and how you are keeping busy at home.
Their service also brings reassurance to family members who may live at a distance and be unable to visit and keep in close contact owing to their own commitments.
Their daily call helps tackle these issues by making sure the person is up and well and provides an opportunity for a friendly chat.
For more information look at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/lancashire/our-services/good-day-calls/#
To sign yourself up please call: 0300 303 1234 (charged at local rate)
or email: email@example.com
If you are enquiring on behalf of someone:
Please download and complete the Good Day Call Referral Form at the bottom of the Age UK page and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org