Coronavirus & Children Accessing Healthcare
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. We can all help to protect ourselves and our families by following good hygiene practices.
Latest Coronavirus advice: Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature — you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough — this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
How long to stay at home
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home. If you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days, starting on day the first person got symptoms
- it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
- for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period
- If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
- If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible. More information on staying at home from the UK Government.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading. It is particularly important for people who:
- are 70 or over
- have a long-term condition
- are pregnant
- have a weakened immune system
Please also follow advice issued by Public Health England and the NHS. The current advice is to:
- wash your hands with soap and water often — do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- avoid touching your face or eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean
Children accessing healthcare during COVID-19
Health services are open as usual, however some services are being delivered differently — for example you may be offered a telephone or video consultation with your GP in the first instance rather than an automatic face-to-face appointment. Do not delay calling your GP if you are concerned about your child’s health. If you need immediate assistance, dial 999 or attend A&E. Hospital is still the safest place for your child if they are seriously ill. Accident and Emergency services for children in Camden are now based at the Whittington Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital. At present UCLH children and young people’s emergency department is redirecting patients to alternative local hospitals.
I’m concerned about coronavirus
- Coronavirus is unlikely to make your child unwell, but other illnesses may make your child severely unwell.
- There are lots of measures in place to protect you and your child from coronavirus if you need to attend.
- Please do let the medical team know if your child has coronavirus symptoms – a fever or cough. It won’t affect the quality of the care you receive but it will ensure that those looking after you and children around you are sufficiently protected.
Immunisations for young children and baby checks after birth are essential for your child’s health and are still being delivered by your GP.
Please be assured that our local hospitals Royal Free and UCLH continue to run maternity services from the settings. Additional measures have been put in place to allow the safety of patients and staff. Parents of new born children will also continue to receive home visits within 5 days of the birth of their child. If you have any concerns or symptoms please discuss this with your Midwife or Health Visitor. Please check the websites for further details:
Suspension of birth registrations
Birth registrations have been suspended until further notice due to the pandemic. This means the 42-day legal deadline for registering a birth is not applicable during this time. Families can make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered. For more details visit: www.camden.gov.uk/register-birth
Sources of information and care
- For general online information and to check symptoms refer to NHS online: www.nhs.uk or use 111 online: www.111.nhs.uk
- If needed call your GP to discuss your concerns and seek help.
- You can also call 111 for further advice, this is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but please be aware that this service is very busy at the moment.
- COVID 19: If your concerns relate to coronavirus you can also check the NHS symptom checker on www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Where to find trusted information about coronavirus
As with any new illness, there is a lot of inaccurate information in the public space. Please use trusted sources for your information:
- For the public — The GOV.UK website has regular updates
- The NHS website gives information on the virus and how to prevent it spreading
- Travel advice has been provided by the Government and will be updated regularly
- The Public Health England Twitter account provides the latest advice, facts and figures as they are announced
Confused by ‘fake news’ about coronavirus? To help challenge some of the common misunderstandings around coronavirus (COVID-19), public health experts in Camden have put together this useful Q&A: Myth-busters: Coronavirus (COVID-19) — True or False?
COVID-19 — Guidance in Multi-languages: