Together for Short Lives is urging families caring for vulnerable and seriously ill children not to delay seeking emergency medical care for their child due to fears around coronavirus and self-isolation.
We have heard that some worried families, whose children have had medical issues connected to their underlying condition, have delayed visiting A&E which has had serious consequences for their children. This has been because of concerns about COVID-19.
In the main children with complex and life-limiting conditions won’t die of COVID-19, but it would be a tragedy if they die because they do not receive help for treatable complications of their underlying condition.
We are sending a clear message to families caring for very sick children: trust your own judgement, and if your child has worrying symptoms please seek medical care immediately rather than waiting for your child to become more seriously unwell.
If parents have serious concerns about their child’s health they should contact the GP and not be afraid to use the paediatric emergency department when it is required.
“We know that everyone is trying to do the right thing by staying at home during the coronavirus crisis,” says Dr Hilary Cass OBE, Chair of Together for Short Lives. “However, we are very worried that parents caring for children with life-limiting conditions might be too frightened to seek urgent medical help until it’s too late. The impact of this will be devastating and we’re already hearing that sadly children have died as a consequence.
We know that everyone is trying to do the right thing by staying at home during the coronavirus crisis. . . You know your child better than anyone else, and if you think your child is unwell or deteriorating you must seek medical helpDr Hilary Cass OBE, Chair of Together for Short Lives
“I’m sending a very clear message to every family caring for these children. You know your child better than anyone else, and if you think your child is unwell or deteriorating you must seek medical help. Doctors will want to make sure that your child is treated before their condition deteriorates.
“I stress that child deaths from COVID-19 are very rare, most vulnerable children won’t die of COVID-19, but we must do all we can do stop them dying unnecessarily of their underlying condition.”
Whilst it’s vital that families seek help is their child becomes unwell, it’s important that people shouldn’t present at A&E with minor ailments.