Is your child well enough to go to school - and when do they need a coronavirus test?
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If your child has a cough or cold, when should you keep them home from school - and how can you tell if it might be coronavirus?
It’s a problem many parents in Suffolk are facing following children’s return to the classroom.
Schools across the area have put in place a whole raft of hygiene and social distancing measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
However, after being apart from friends for much longer than usual because of lockdown followed by the summer holidays, many youngsters are still likely to pick up bugs and sniffles.
Children can get coronavirus, but the NHS website says: “They seem to get it less often than adults and it’s usually less serious.”
MORE: People sent hundreds of miles from Suffolk for Covid-19 testsThe NHS is advising parents to keep children off school and arrange for them to have a test if they have any of the main symptoms:
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• A high temperature. This means the child feels hot to touch on their chest or back. NHS advice is that you do not need to measure your child’s temperature.
• A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.
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• A loss or change to their sense of smell or taste. This means your child has noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
MORE: Headteacher says schools must ‘avoid talk of lost generation’ after coronavirusIf your child has any of these symptoms, you should arrange for them to have a test as soon as possible, and keep them and their siblings off school until you get a test result.
You should also stay at home and do not have visitors until you get the test result – only leave your home to have a test. Unfortunately, there is high pressure on tests at the moment and some people are being sent long distances or finding it hard to book one at all.
So what if your child just has other symptoms, such as a sore throat, runny nose or slight cough? If you feel they are well enough to go to school, and they do not have any of the main coronavirus symptoms, official advice is that they can still go in.
The NHS website says: “It’s fine to send your child to school with a minor cough or cold. But if they have a fever, keep them off school until the fever goes. Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues and to wash their hands regularly.”
If your child will not be going into school, it is important to let the school know as soon as possible.
Contact NHS 111 or your GP surgery if you are worried about your child or not sure what to do.