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Advice to parents over illness in kids linked with coronavirus

Doctors here say avoiding help for other conditions poses a far greater risk than the reported illness linked with coronavirus in children.

Published by Dan Gooding at 12:02pm 6th May 2020. 3-minute read.

Advice to parents over illness in kids linked with coronavirus

The risk is low - that is the message to parents in Buckinghamshire, worried about a reported illness in children linked with coronavirus.

The NHS here has repeated calls for parents to go to their GP or A&E if kids get seriously ill.

But the advice is that on the whole children are not seriously affected by COVID-19.

What's been happening?

There have been reports of a small number of cases of a coronavirus- related condition emerging in children.

This is because of some advisory information circulated to healthcare professionals in the UK.

While these reports have understandably raised fears in parents and carers, the current evidence says that most children are not badly affected by the illness.

Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

"We already know that a very small number of children can become severely ill with COVID-19 but this is very rare - evidence from throughout the world shows us that children appear to be the part of the population least affected by this infection.

"New diseases may present in ways that surprise us, and clinicians need to be made aware of any emerging evidence of particular symptoms or of underlying conditions which could make a patient more vulnerable to the virus.

"However our advice remains the same: parents should be reassured that children are unlikely to be seriously ill with COVID-19 but if they are concerned about their children's health for any reason, they should seek help from a health professional."

You can download this useful guidance for parents on symptoms and seeking advice - it aims to help parents choose the right service at the right time for their child's illness or injury, whether that is pharmacy, GP, A&E or 999.

Dr Juliet Sutton, GP and Clinical Director for Children's Services at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

"This is a worrying time and we are finding out more about coronavirus all the time. But all the evidence tells us that in the vast majority of cases, children are not badly affected by this illness. We are actually far more concerned that parents may be reluctant to use their GP or A&E services if their child has other serious concerns - fevers, abdominal pains or issues relating to existing conditions like diabetes, for instance.

"So please use this guidance on when to seek help and do not hesitate to use your NHS services if you become worried about your child. Contacting your health services at the right time could help prevent more far serious health concerns in the future."

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