Advanced search

From MNHQ: Message from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health about sick children during COVID-19

(48 Posts)
BojanaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Apr-20 17:36:00


The RCPCH has sent the following message and we wanted to share it.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is concerned that sick children are not being seen by health professionals early enough because of the COVID-19 pandemic and could become seriously ill. Paediatricians have reported a small but worrying number of cases where children may have become very unwell or even died because they were not treated until it was too late.

Doctors from the RCPCH are advising parents or carers to connect with a healthcare professional as soon as possible if they are worried about their child.

The College has said there are many reasons why children may not be seen in this period, including:

- Parents thinking the ‘stay at home’ advice means they shouldn’t take their children to be examined
- Difficulty getting through on the phone to GP surgeries or to 111
- Parents concerned about their children becoming infected with COVID-19 in healthcare settings
- Parents ‘not wanting to bother’ busy NHS staff
- Assuming a child’s fever to be COVID-19 when it’s a symptom of something else

The RCPCH stressed that there are a number of symptoms which can be signs of serious illness and which should not be ignored, as well as other symptoms which may need to be monitored in case they become serious later. The College highlighted online information available to guide parents, such as the ‘traffic light’ system for checking symptoms and the NHS guidance on fever in children.

Professor Russell Viner, President of the RCPCH, said:

“During the coronavirus crisis, parents and carers up and down the country have been doing the right thing by keeping children with minor ailments at home and we thank you for your help. But if your child is very unwell, we want to see them – we don't want you to wait and we don’t want you to worry. Get in touch with your GP or call 111.

“If you are concerned and can’t get through on the phone, the NHS is there for you as it always has been. Talk with your GP or, if very worried, go to a local urgent care centre or to A&E. Hospitals have measures in place to help protect you and your child from COVID-19.”

Dr Mike Linney, Registrar at the RCPCH, said:

“Some children will get COVID-19 but many won’t or won’t be very unwell even if they do. If you are worried about your child – even if their symptoms sound like COVID – it could be something else. The chances are, it won’t be serious but, although the NHS is at the busiest time in its history, we would rather you ‘bothered us’ with your concerns so that we can reassure you or give your child the help they may need.”

OP’s posts: |
AmelieTaylor Fri 03-Apr-20 19:40:59

Thank you for sharing Bojana.

There have been a couple of worrying threads where people have been reluctant to seek help.

I hope this makes people feel more comfortable getting help when needed 💐

TooManyPups Fri 03-Apr-20 20:47:54

At the beginning of all this my ds was so poorly... Temperature... Conjunctivitis.. And a rash all over his body... I couldn't get anyone to see him here at all... GP refused to see him because of his temperature.. 111 told us not to take him anywhere too... It was horrible to not know if I was doing the right things to treat him and none of the people I would normally ask would see him.

Incrediblytired Fri 03-Apr-20 20:56:44

Yup, I’m 90% sure my daughter has a chest infection, she is 3 years with asthma and we were allowed to see a GP via video link who said she looked ok and to call 999 if she went blue or floppy. Because you get a cough with asthma and/or chest infection, they said we have to isolate. That’s it, no antibiotics, no examination, just carry on until it becomes critical or goes away.

HotPenguin Fri 03-Apr-20 22:16:50

Well, that's fine in theory, but it's impossible to get a Dr appointment here and friends have been on hold to 111 for hours and unable to get through so apart from just rocking up at A and E I am not sure what parents are meant to do.

bumblingbovine49 Sat 04-Apr-20 00:00:26

I think the GP and NHS 111 systems are not fit for purpose in this country. I don't blame the doctors and nurses I blame the underfunding. We should be very very angry about this and hold on to that anger so that something is done about it when this crisis is over

Butterfly44 Sat 04-Apr-20 00:19:47

Hope all mums reading this use their instinct. If something doesn't feel right please contact someone. My daughter was right as rain just drinking more than usual and going to the toilet more as a result. Turns out she had Type 1 diabetes which is deadly if left too late. A mums instinct something isn't quite right is strong for a reason. Always better to fuss and eliminate that not to.

divafever99 Sat 04-Apr-20 09:03:43

This is helpful thanks MNHQ.

Takeoutyourhen Sat 04-Apr-20 10:00:25

With some doctors being closed and not wanting to risk taking a poorly child out we explore options that are available to us at home whilst isolating. 111 online essentially is a CV detector based on only 2 symptoms, anything else it suggests you to see the doctor.
Lots of illnesses are on the go with many symptoms which overlap CV and because we don’t know the full variety of symptoms we have the 2 symptom blanket rule. More testing will lead to more peace of mind I hope.

Lumene Sat 04-Apr-20 12:56:36

Thanks for posting. Really important.

Jellycatfox Sat 04-Apr-20 15:45:07

Well, not so easy.
My toddler and my 12 weeks old baby were ill with temperatures and a really bad cough. But loads more symptoms, and I called 111 and all they were interested was that we self isolated for 2 weeks. I tried to tell the person about the noise in baby’s chest and the pus from the eyes etc But nope, “you must self isolate”
That was that. I have spent two weeks worried sick listening to baby breathing.
But all GP appointments have been cancelled too so...

Toddlerteaplease Sat 04-Apr-20 21:50:56

We've had patients at my hospital come in very sick because GP's have refused to see them as they have a temperature. We are so quiet we've got wards closed due to lack of patients. Patients not suspected to have Covid will be kept well away from suspected patients. So please come in if you feel you need to!

Toddlerteaplease Sat 04-Apr-20 21:52:16

@hotpengiun, we'd rather you did rock up at A&E, than rock up on PICU with a very poorly child.

RuffleCrow Sat 04-Apr-20 21:59:29

And maybe parents are also terrified of being separated from their sick children, who may well end up dying scared and alone. Strange that this isn't being factored in to their thinking about parental behaviour, given the events of the past few days sad

RuffleCrow Sat 04-Apr-20 22:01:25

*if they test positive for covid-19

groundhogmum Sat 04-Apr-20 22:17:28

I agree the thought of DC being alone and suffering would be a huge factor in deciding whether to seek help.

My DM has dementia and was admitted due to a fall, had to go alone in the ambulance and no visitors allowed even though it isn’t CV related and she has not tested positive.

The staff are fantastic and updating me when they can but it would definitely impact a decision on whether I sought hospital help with DC sad

mrsbear81 Sat 04-Apr-20 23:16:29

I'm so glad there is this thread. My GP
Is refusing to see all patients all they will offer is a phone consultation. After chicken pox, needing antibiotics for infected spots. Redeveloping a fever and having noisy breathing I wanted him physically examined to check what was going on.
My GP receptionist was not at all helpful, when I asked where I could go to get him physically seen she said she didn't know, when I said I was being left little choice than to take him to
A&E she said that wasn't advisable.
I ended up being seen in a COVID 19 pod, they think it isn't COVID but we are self isolating as he fits the triggers for isolation. But I was reassured as someone had done all the necessary checks.
Please use your mum gut feeling, it's generally right and as other posters have said better a&e than itu.

mrsbear81 Sat 04-Apr-20 23:18:10

Also I know my local trust is still allowing one parent to be with all children including overnight even those with COVID.

mynameisigglepiggle Sat 04-Apr-20 23:18:46

You wouldn't be separated from your child if they were taken into hospital.

Dozer Sat 04-Apr-20 23:21:21

So the issue is access to health services angry

Toddlerteaplease Sun 05-Apr-20 15:32:05

I'm a paediatric nurse. 1 patent is absolutely allowed to stay with their child.

BatShite Sun 05-Apr-20 16:03:09

Dhs cousins daughter has had a weird rash (fades with glass test, thank god) for a week now, horrible cough, difficulty breathing at times though this has lessened over the week. GP is refusing to see her and has told her mum to avoid taking her to hospital unless she stops breathing! Said rash 'should' go if she puts e45 on it, no explanation of what it is/they think. E45 hasn't worked. |Child is not 'very' poorly IMO but its been a week now and still her doctor won't even see her. Her mums trying again tomorrow, but is not hopeful.

So while this advice is great, it seems doctors are not following it and are blatantly refusing to see ill kids if they have a cough along with other symptoms.

londonrach Sun 05-Apr-20 19:13:34

My doctor surgery was terrible pre cv now forget they just closed their doors and answer phone call 111. Midlands area

adiposegirl2 Sun 05-Apr-20 19:21:42


StarUtopia Sun 05-Apr-20 19:52:22

Honestly I wouldn't want to take them anywhere because EVERYONE is saying your child will be taken away from you to be treated alone.

That's the MAIN reason people aren't seeking treatment imho.

Mums are scared.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »