Bucks parents and carers reassured over reports of coronavirus-related illness in children

Parents and carers in Buckinghamshire are being reassured that, despite recent reports of the possibility of an unusual presentation in children which may or may not be linked with coronavirus infection, the risks to children remain low.

But the NHS is reminding everyone they should not hesitate to get in touch with their GP or A&E services if they have concerns about their child’s health.

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 tells us 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.”