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We are aware that some children and their families may be concerned about coming into a hospital caring for patients with COVID19 and would wish to reassure everyone that we have taken all appropriate precautions to keep our patients, our families and our staff safe.
Watch this very special message from our mascots at the Great North Children’s Hospital – Fudge and Blaze:
COVID19 Update for children and young people
During the COVID19 pandemic many families will be staying at home.
The government advice is to stay at home if you have:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
However, if your baby or child is unwell call 111, get advice and do not delay getting help.NHS Website – Coronavirus
At the Great North Children’s Hospital we are seeing less viral infections because children are not mixing at school and less diarrhoea and vomiting because of better hand washing.
However there are other important causes of cough and fever (not COVID19) and some children still might need to be seen by medical staff and may need treatment such as antibiotics.
Changes have been made to the Emergency Department to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID19 as much as possible.
To help you decide if your child needs to seek medical attention we have two resources.
The Orange book online has advice on all common childhood illnesses:The Little Orange Book – Expert advice on helping babies and young children when they're poorly
We also have a patient information leaflet:How to recognise when your child is seriously ill
This helps you decide when and where to get help if your child is unwell ( it is a more detailed version of p11 of the Orange Book) .
Remember any small babies under 3 months old with a temperature over 380C or babies between 3-6 months with a temperature over 390C should be seen by a health care professional.
Vulnerable children and coronavirus
If you are worried that your child is unwell please follow the ‘if you have symptoms’ advice here.
Knowledge about coronavirus is still incomplete but current evidence suggests that most children who acquire coronavirus remain well or with very mild symptoms and do not need treatment.
However certain children may be more vulnerable to coronavirus because of pre-existing conditions.
Examples of children considered as ‘vulnerable’ to severe infection are those with:
- Chronic lung disease including severe asthma and chronic lung disease of prematurity (needing oxygen)
- Chronic heart disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic neurological disease including neurodisability and cerebral palsy
Weakened immune system such as:
- Children having chemotherapy or other treatment for malignancy
- Children who are born with an immunodeficiency (primary immunodeficiency)
- Immunosuppressive medications – this includes biologics, long term steroids and other medicines that dampen immunity*
- Children post bone marrow transplant (until they have normal immunity back, usually after the all-clear to receive live vaccines)
- Problems with your spleen (asplenia or functional hyposplenia) including sickle cell disease
Please do not stop or reduce ANY of your medications unless advised by your specialist team.
The following advice is intended to keep children as safe as possible:
During the coronavirus pandemic, vulnerable children and their siblings should have social distancing measures in place including:
- staying away from anyone unwell
- staying at home
- avoiding large gatherings
The latest guidance is available here:NHS Website – Coronavirus GOV.uk Website – COVID-19 Guidance