24 September 2020
Traditionally at this time of year young children, families and staff tend to experience a range of mild illnesses. Over time, these help to build up our immune systems, but the start of the year is always a time when we see a rise in such minor illnesses. This is obviously much more complicated this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are many similarities between Covid-19, seasonal flu and the common cold and we appreciate that making the decision as a parent is increasingly difficult in these uncertain times. As a parent you know your child best and how they are when they are “normally” unwell, so we ask that you use your judgement and knowledge of your own child when making the decision to send them into their early years setting.
We are encouraging parents to send their children to their early years setting as we are increasingly concerned about the lost learning that that may have occurred earlier in the year, and what might lie ahead for us as a nation. So, if you are confident that it is no more than a standard cold, (that you would not normally keep your child at home for) then please do send them in.
Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms.
Anyone experiencing one or more of the symptoms outlined below should follow the government’s guidance on self-isolation and access a coronavirus test within 3 to 5 days of onset of symptoms either via the NHS online portal or by dialling 119. If the test is negative the child and the family can stop isolating and return to their early years setting/work if they feel well enough. We appreciate the difficulty in securing tests, but this advice is precautionary.
● a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
● a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
● a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Cold symptoms: Your child may attend their early years setting and will not be sent home with one of the following:
● a blocked or runny nose
● a sore throat
We continue to ask everyone to practise safe social distancing and hand hygiene.
We thank you for your continued support and the steps we are all taking to strike a balance between safety and early years education.
Dr Nada Lemic
Director of Public Health