My child is unwell, but not with COVID-19

Posted on the 2nd April 2020

Despite the current focus on COVID-19, children of all ages will still become unwell with a variety of other conditions. The NHS understands this and should be ready to respond to those needs.

However, many families are understandably worried about what they should do during the current COVID-19 outbreak if their child does become unwell with non-COVID-19 symptoms. Here is some guidance:

  • Hospitals are still fully open and responding to all emergency situations, despite the COVID-19 situation.
  • If you have a child who becomes unwell during this period then you should follow your normal escalation procedure.
  • If you feel at any point that you need to seek emergency medical assistance by calling 999, please ensure you still do this, your call should still be answered and responded to.
  • If your normal escalation route has been disrupted due to COVID-19 measures, (e.g. your GP is not available, 111 queues are long, or your local support team is not responding) then if you are concerned you should attend your local Emergency Department or call 999 for assistance.
  • Remember the 6 signs of Sepsis – If your child has any of these symptoms you should take immediate action:
    • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
    • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
    • Feels abnormally cold to touch
    • Is breathing very fast
    • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
    • Has a fit or convulsion
  • Children with complex health needs and disabilities may have their ‘own normals’. If as a parent or carer you feel your child is sicker than they normally are, are getting worse, or they have any new symptoms, trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently.
  • If your child needs to go to hospital then we would recommend, that due to possible shortages in supplies that you take 1 or 2 weeks supply of consumables including medications, spare tracheostomies, ties and HME’s in addition to your usual emergency tracheostomy box. Furthermore, spare ventilation circuits, water for irrigation, swivel elbows and in circuits HMEs. If there are items listed here that you do not use or have; then please do not worry.

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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