Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Info for Parents
We have put together some advice and information for Parents and Carers in relation to the Coronavirus.
My child has symptoms can they attend school?
Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.
Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
Positive test result
If a child or young person has a positive Covid-19 test result they should not attend nursery or school and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test. After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.
Encourage your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and to wash their hands after using or throwing away tissues.
Most children who are unwell will recover in a few days with rest and plenty of fluids.
At school, what measures help to stop the spread of the virus?
- Teachers and children should wash their hands more often and for 20 seconds
- Use soap and water or a hand sanitiser when they
- Get home or into school
- Blow their nose, sneeze or cough
- Eat or handle food
- Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve (not your hands) when they cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away straight away
- Supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands more often than usual
- Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
- If teachers, young people or children become unwell at school with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home.
Islington Council's response to Coronavirus
Read more about what the council is doing in response to Coronavirus and advice to keep you, your family and vulnerable residents safe.
Supporting your child at home if you are self-isolating
Here are some tips to help you support your child’s wellbeing and learning if you are self-isolating.
Look after yourself - as a parent it is important to take care of your own wellbeing and mental health first. Children can pick on your mood so if you are feeling stressed your child may be too.
Enjoy time this time with your child - don’t feel that you must recreate a classroom at home. Playing and having fun with your child is important too - bake, build, play a board game, do arts and crafts, watch a film or read a book together.
Talk to your child - it is important to talk to children and young people about the Coronavirus outbreak so that they don’t imagine the worst and become overly anxious. There is more information below on how to approach this.
Connect with other people - although we need to maintain our distance from others, it is still possible to help keep your child in touch with family and friends. Apps such as Zoom, What’s App, or FaceTime are useful and you can always pick up the phone.
Routines - Keep as many regular routines as possible so that your child feels safe and that things are stable. The Bridge Outreach Service have provided some templates to help you create visual timetables.
Keep active - Add a daily physical activity into you and your child’s routine.
Talking to your child about Coronavirus
If your child is worried or anxious about coronavirus, here are five tips to help you. You may also find this NHS poster for children useful:
- Try not to shield your child from the news.
- Talk to your child about what is going on.
- Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner.
- Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if they do feel ill you will look after them.
- Give some practical tips to your child about how they can look after themselves e.g. show them how to wash their hands properly.
Supporting children and young people’s mental health
It explains that children and young people may react in different ways according to their age, and gives some practical advice for parents/carers on how to help support their children to cope with stress during this time.
There is also specific information for/around:
- Children who are accessing mental health services
- Children with learning disabilities
- Autistic children
- Children with physical health issues
- Children who are young carers
- Money worries
It includes where to get further help and advice and has links to Helplines and websites.
There is also an easy to read version of this guidance that explains ‘Looking after your feelings and your body’.
Islington's Educational Psychology Service continues to support schools and settings and the children, young people, families and staff related to them. They offer psychological support to settings in the event of a critical incident. This support is available to all Islington schools.
Resources for parents of children with SEND
Here are some resources and links to help you with the challenges of supporting home learning if your child is self-isolating:
The Government has provided some information for parents and carers of children who are learning at home which includes some resources for children with SEND.
ChatterPack is a voluntary organisation who have produce have a wide and growing range of free, downloadable resources to support home learning for children and young people with SEND ‘to ease the burden on schools and families during this undoubtedly worrying time’ (Claire Ryan, Founder).
- Speech and language, OT, and other SEND resources for families and schools
- A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources!
- Home Learning Resources List for Schools and Families
All links to google drive documents were shared publicly for re-use by others.
- Distance education resources for children and young people with SEND. A nine-page list of resources for parents and carers assembled by Lisa Thomas from SEND Essentials in March 2020.
- Centre 404 have put together some home learning resources with links to apps and websites to support families. They also suggest Home Play ideas to provide families with simple and easy ways to enjoy themselves whilst at home, without needing fancy equipment or materials.
- BBC Bitesize - Lots of materials including podcasts on BBC Sounds and lots of educational video on iPlayer.
The above information is not provided as advice, and parents remain responsible for deciding the relevance of content to their own circumstances.
Support available to keep your child safe online
Being online is providing a lifeline for everyone from the young to the old, learners and workers, the vulnerable and those seeking an escape from boredom. It is therefore important that parents and carers are reassured that their children are safe when online. Below are some useful links to help with this:
- Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
- Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Net-aware (support for parents and carers from the NSPCC)
Islington SEND Community Support Service
The Islington SEND Community Support Service is provides advice to families of children and young people with SEN. If you need free, legally based, impartial, confidential and accessible information, advice and support on any matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities you can contact the service on 020 3031 6651 / 020 3031 6652 or email@example.com. They are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
The Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Parents and young people can contact this helpline on 0800 046 8687. They are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.
Kooth is a free, safe and anonymous online counselling and emotional well-being platform available to all children and young people in Islington. Counsellors are available to chat online at www.kooth.com between 12pm and 10pm, Monday to Friday and 6pm and 10pm, Saturday and Sunday.
If you are worried about your child, you should access health services in the same way you would normally:
- Refer to NHS online: for general information, to check symptoms and the right steps to take
- Use 111 online: you can also call 111 for further advice but please be aware that this service is busy
- If necessary call your GP to discuss your concerns and seek help
- If your concerns related to coronavirus you can also check the NHS symptom checker
- If you need immediate assistance dial 999 or attend an accident and emergency department
At present, Accident and Emergency services for children are based at Whittington Hospital, Barnet Hospital and North Middlesex Hospital.
Children's Emergency Departments at Royal Free Hospital and UCLH are temporarily closed.