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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Guidance for parents and carers about coronavirus

Health advice

Illness from coronavirus infection is less common and usually less severe in children and young adults. However, they can get infected and be carriers for the infection.

Even if they appear to be healthy, it's essential that they practice physical distancing.

Generally minimising physical contact with each other will help avoid spreading the virus, so children and young people should avoid meeting up in groups while practicing physical distancing.

  • advised physical distancing, hand-washing, surface hygiene, sneezes and coughs being caught and avoiding touching your face should be practiced at all times
  • ensure that your home is well ventilated and clean. There should be strict cleaning and disinfection routines for table-tops, doorknobs, bathroom, toilets, phones, keyboards and tablets
  • if your child has diabetes, asthma or another chronic condition, make sure the condition is as well-managed and monitored as possible
  • children who are sick should be kept isolated, with appropriate care, and not meet anybody outside of the household
Isolation for individuals and households

Medical advice

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness.

If your child has coronavirus symtoms, call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566

GPs and the Jersey General Hospital are still providing the same safe care that they have always done.

Parents and carers are reminded that routine healthcare is still available for children

Urgent help

If your child has any of the following you need to go to the Emergency Department or call 999:

  • becomes pale, mottled and feels abnormally cold to the touch
  • pauses in their breathing (apnoeas), has an irregular breathing pattern or starts grunting
  • severe difficulty in breathing becoming agitated or unresponsive
  • is going blue round the lips
  • has a fit / seizure
  • becomes extremely distressed (crying inconsolably despite distraction), confused, very lethargic (difficult to wake) or unresponsive
  • a rash that does not disappear with pressure (the ‘Glass test’)
  • testicular pain, especially in teenage boys

Contact your GP surgery or out-of-hours service

Call your GP surgery or the out-of-hours GP service if your child has any of the following:

  • difficulty breathing including drawing in of the muscles below their lower ribs, at their neck or between their ribs (recession) or head bobbing
  • seems dehydrated (dry mouth, sunken eyes, no tears, drowsy or passing less urine than usual)
  • is becoming drowsy (excessively sleepy) or irritable (unable to settle them with toys, TV, food or picking up)- especially if they remain drowsy or irritable despite their fever coming down
  • extreme shivering or complains of muscle pain
  • babies under 3 months of age with a temperature above 38°C / 100.4°F
  • infants 3-6 months of age with a temperature above 39°C / 102.2°F
  • all infants and children with a fever above 38°C for more than 5 day
  • is getting worse or if you are worried
  • persistent vomiting and/or persistent severe abdominal pain
  • blood in their poo or wee
  • any limb injury causing reduced movement, persistent pain or head injury causing persistent crying or drowsiness

During the current coronavirus crisis at peak times, access to a health care professional may be delayed. If symptoms persist for 4 hours or more and you've not been able to speak to a GP, then take your child to the Emergency Department (A&E).

Continue providing care at home

If your child has none of the above medical issues, you can continue providing care at home. If you're concerned about your child, call the GP surgery.

Additional advice is available:

Vaccinations

During  the coronavirus pandemic childhood vaccinations should be maintained to  reduce the serious risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Jersey's vaccination schedule

​Talking to children and young people about coronavirus

Many parents and carers are wondering how to talk to their children about Coronavirus in an age-appropriate and reassuring way.

Here is some advice from the Government of Jersey, developed with the help of educational psychologists and Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Children, Young People, Education and Skills:

Do

  •  

    help children feel informed and get fact-based information

  •  

    be age-appropriate with the information, very young children need brief and simple information

  •  

    encourage children to ask questions, not talking about it can actually make children worry more

  •  

    do your best to answer questions honestly and clearly

  •  

    remind children with facts that very few people in Jersey have coronavirus and in other places the vast majority of people with the virus recover fully 

  •  

    focus on how to stay safe

  •  

    remind children that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two 'Happy Birthday' songs) 

  •  

    stick to a routine at home

  •  

    give children extra attention and time to talk if and when they want to

Tips on talking to children about Coronavirus

Talking to kids about the coronavirus on the Child Mind Institute website

COVIBOOK by Mind Heart for children under the age of 7

School closure advice and information

Parents and families should make the right arrangements for children so that they remain in good physical and mental health. Parents and carers are responsible for keeping their children safe.

Advice for parents during school closures

Advice for early years settings and special schools

Advice for registered childminders

Childcare arrangements

When making childcare arrangements:

  • make sure that there are suitable alternative arrangements in place if your child’s usual school or childcare is no longer available
  • any arrangements you make for your childcare must be given by a suitable responsible person who you know and trust
  • a child who isn't old enough or who doesn't feel comfortable should never be left home alone. As a guide, the NSPCC advise that children under 12 years old shouldn't be left home alone
  • if you’re able to work from home, you must provide appropriate care and supervision while working
  • consider the risks of children carrying infection if grandparents or others aged 65+ or those with underlying health conditions are part of your usual or alternative care network

Critical workers and childcare

Childcare is available for critical workers within the Government of Jersey and critical workers outside Government. More information can be found on our Critical workers and childcare page.

Child contact arrangements during 'Stay at Home'

You can find detailed guidance on contact with children subject to custody and care arrangements in the FAQ document below.

Guidance on contact with children subject to custody and care arrangements

Do

  •  

    talk to children about the virus and how to stay safe

  •  

    reduce the number of contacts you and your children have with other people

  •  

  •  

    postpone social and family commitments which bring people together

  •  

    try to keep children physically active through playing in the garden if you have one or going to open spaces where it is easier to keep a distance from others

  •  

    if your child or family has a lead worker or social worker, make sure you keep in touch with that person, or others in the service, on a regular basis

  •  

    learning should continue at home, academic material has been provided by all schools

  •  

    support children to maintain contact with friends and family over the phone and social media, remembering to maintain appropriate adult oversight

Don't

  •  

    combine larger numbers of children in shared activities or extended family childcare

  •  

    let your child participate in activities where germs and infections may be more easily spread due to multiple shared surfaces


  •  

    organise group playdates, sleepovers, birthday parties, movie nights and large gatherings should be avoided

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Children and Families Hub

The Children and Families Hub provides a single point of contact and referral centre for children, young people and families who require additional support to make sure they are appropriately safeguarded and protected. The Hub aims to streamline some of the current processes and bring the right support to children and families at the right time.

Email the Children and Families Hub or telephone +44 (0) 1534 519000

Children and Families Hub Briefing

Children and Families Hub FAQs


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