Doctors and nurses across the city are joining forces to encourage parents to seek help and advice straight away if their child is unwell or injured. While children can catch COVID-19, they may not have symptoms and the virus is rarely serious for younger patients. If a child is unwell, parents are being advised, this is likely to be unrelated.
Jane Valente, Medical Director at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) said:
“We have seen a 50% reduction in the number of children and young people presenting to RMCH over the last few weeks. Children with serious conditions such as new onset diabetes or severe infections have presented extremely unwell due to mislabelling of the illness as COVID-19 or fear about attending hospital during the outbreak.
“If you are concerned that your child is unwell, please be assured that our Emergency Department is open, safe and we have designated areas for children who attend with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. All other conditions, illnesses or injuries will be treated in the Emergency Department as normal.
“Please do not hesitate to seek medical attention if you are concerned about your child. An early diagnosis and treatment in hospital can save lives”.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has produced a ‘traffic light’ guide for different symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, drowsiness, or a high temperature, saying which health services parents should contact. If parents are unsure, they are advised to call NHS111. The NHS 111 online service can also be used for children over the age of five.
Watch this helpful video with Dr Steve Playfor, Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant from Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital: