19 March 2020
New guidelines have been published to support parents and carers during the school and college closures to ensure children and young people are kept safe during the changes.
The new guidelines outline measures parents and carers can take in remaining responsible for keeping their children safe at this time.
This includes, making alternative arrangements for childcare with a person known and trusted to the family and avoiding children’s contact with vulnerable members of the community or family, including those aged 65+ and those with underlying health conditions.
For children with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, asthma or another chronic condition it is advised that they are kept isolated and to not meet anybody from outside their household.
The NSPCC advice that any child under 12 years old should not be left at home alone and it is important that parents and carers know where and who children are with.
For those parents and carers who will be working from home, it is important that appropriate supervision is in place while attending to work responsibilities, if the child is to remain at home.
The Coronavirus has been found to be less severe in children and young adults, however children risk being carriers of the infection. By minimising children’s contact with others at this time, it will minimise the risk of infection in vulnerable people and help contain the spread.
Guidance is available online on how to talk to children and young people about the Coronavirus and the changes taking place around them as it is important to keep them appropriately informed.
The general advice is to reduce the amount of contact with other people, this means:
- Avoiding large gatherings of children in shared activities
- Avoid activities which involve sharing surfaces or objects
- Postpone family events, such as birthdays to avoid bringing people together
- Avoid arrangements such as sleepovers, playdates, and movie nights with other children outside of your household
Learning will continue at home with resources and materials which are being provided by all schools. It is important for children to maintain social connections with friends and family over the phone and social media, remembering to maintain appropriate adult oversight when using apps.
Families are reminded to follow general health advice including increased hand washing, maintaining clean surfaces, catching coughs and sneezes and avoiding touching faces.