Dear Parent or Guardian,
This is a very challenging time we find ourselves in and there is understandably a lot of anxiety in the community around school age children, their risk from COVID-19 and the potential impact of school absence both for that child and for the family as a whole. This letter is to help you access up-to-date information to help us all work together over the next few months.
1. Symptoms of coronavirus in children
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Please be reassured that if your child has symptoms of the usual winter bugs eg: runny nose or sore throat but DOES NOT have any of the symptoms listed above then they can still go to school.
2. What to do if your child has the above symptoms
If your child has any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if they have coronavirus as soon as possible – please be aware that you cannot under any circumstances get a test through your GP surgery so please do not ring for this purpose alone. You can ONLY get a test through ‘NHS 111 online’ OR by ringing 119 if you do not have access to the internet.
- Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get the test result – only leave your home to have a test. Please only order a test for the person in your household who has symptoms. These tests are NOT for individuals who do not have symptoms.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get the result.
3. What you can do to decide if your child needs to see a GP
If you are worried about your child please click on the link below to an excellent website called ‘Healthier Together’ where there is lots of very useful information about managing illness in children: https://what0-18.nhs.uk/
There is also a page dedicated to COVID-19 in children. It is important to remember that COVID-19 appears to generally cause mild illness in children. Only about 1 in every 100 cases diagnosed in the UK have been in children and infection is generally far milder in children than it is in adults, although we do not yet understand exactly why this is the case. Once you have looked at your child’s symptoms if you are still concerned and think they need to be seen then please either:
- access NHS 111 online OR ring 111 for COVID-19 symptoms
- if you do not think your child’s illness is due to COVID-19 then please contact your GP practice.
With best wishes
The Avenue Surgery