Ten ways to keep my child with complex health needs safe

Posted on the 18th March 2020

We appreciate that there is a lack of clear guidance for families caring for a child with serious or complex medical needs at home. We have therefore put together the following information taken from a range of sources that we hope is useful.

1. Follow Government/NHS Advice

Follow the Government/NHS advice on social distancing and self-isolation. These guidelines are likely to change, possibly daily, so log in or listen to the BBC News Broadcasts for up to date advice.

2. Prepare

Contact your GP/hospital and ensure you have at least two months’ supply of medications, feeds and medical supplies your child’s needs.

3. Medication

Continue with administration of all your child’s medication. If they become unwell with a fever, use your normal first line defence medications to treat these symptoms.

Please note: You may have seen warnings about Ibuprofen and other Non-Steroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs. There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse. But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you. If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first. If you have any queries or concerns contact your healthcare team locally. (NHS March 17th 2020)

4. Supplies

Contact your local WellChild Nurse or Community Nursing Team if you are struggling to ensure you have adequate supplies and need advice.

5. Plan

Make a contingency plan. If family or close friends are available, could they be trained to help in case of an emergency?

6. Care package

For those with care packages, you should still allow people to care for your child to prevent burnout. This situation could last for many weeks. However, make ensure you follow our seven basic rules for managing carers in the home.

7. Appointments

Unless otherwise advised, ensure you attend any hospital appointments. If you are concerned, contact the department or secretary to ask about local arrangements.

8. Visitors

Limit social visits from friends and relatives. If visits are essential, ask them to self-distance themselves from your child where possible. If you have other children in the household, allow them to continue their lives as normal, except for limiting friends from visiting the family home.

Download our poster (PDF/1MB) to put on your front door to advise visitors to your home of the precautions they need to take.

9. Decontamination

Ensure the whole household adhere to decontamination processes when coming back into the home from community visits, before contact with your child. Handwashing, showers, clothing changes.

10. Stay in touch

Don’t feel you have to go through this alone – sign up, or log-in to online networks like the WellChild Family Tree to connect with other parents who ‘get it’ for a mutual support, advice, friendship and a chat!

We hope you have found this article useful. Please also browse our other articles providing guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak. If there are particular things you are worried about that we haven’t yet covered, please submit them via the comments box below and we will use it to shape future information and guidance during this difficult time.

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