Update from Dr Yiannis, London Paediatrician
- Recent media coverage relating to children and COVID-19.
- Feedback on video and telephone consultations.
- A lighter note: a child’s remedy.
I hope this latest update finds you and your loved ones well.
Below I have highlighted important messages and useful links for you and your families.
Thank you for the lovely feedback relating to these recent updates.
If you like this article, please click on the heart above. This helps me know these summaries are useful to you and your families and friends should you wish to share them.
Our practice is here to support you as usual.
I wish you all the very best,
Recent media coverage relating to children and COVID-19.
Many parents have been in touch with concerns and questions about recent media coverage relating to serious illness potentially associated with COVID-19 seen in a small number of children.
Reassuringly for parents, all information from the UK and worldwide continues to demonstrate that children are not severely affected by the illness and usually have no symptoms or a very mild illness.
The recent reporting of a small number of cases of more severe illness in children has understandably caused alarm for parents.
Children affected are described as having a multi-system inflammatory syndrome and have features in common with other well-recognised inflammatory conditions that affect children.
These conditions include Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation of the arteries, and toxic shock syndrome, a rare life-threatening reaction to certain infections.
Typical symptoms might include prolonged fever, skin rashes, red eyes, cracked lips and abdominal pain.
Within the small number of cases reported, not all the children with these severe presentations test positive for the virus causing COVID-19 (Sars-CoV-2).
There are ongoing surveillance studies and case reports to help understand how and if this new condition is related to COVID-19.
There is clear guidance available for paediatricians to manage children presenting in this way.
The message remains clear and consistent from all health professionals and paediatricians that parents should seek medical advice early if concerned about any illness in their child.
The traffic light flow chart highlighted below remains a very useful tool to use if parents and carers are concerned about their child during an illness.
Again, to reassure you, so far all the indicators are that children are only very mildly affected or have no symptoms, but it is very important to continue to follow guidance and seek medical advice if concerned.
Feedback on video and telephone consultations:
Feedback from families relating to video and telephone consultations has been overwhelmingly positive.
The flexibility of appointment timings including daily availability, reducing travel and visits to the hospital all proving very popular.
From a paediatrician’s perspective, observing the child and parents comfortable and relaxed in their home environment adds great value in the assessment that may be lost in the clinic room.
I have also seen some wonderful artwork hanging on the walls!
There are of course some medical concerns that are best suited to a face to face appointment and clinical assessment, but many can be dealt with safely remotely.
A lighter note: a child’s remedy.
In an earlier message, I emphasised how resilient children are and how quickly they adapt to their new circumstances.
Younger infants and toddlers may not appear to recognise a difference but are benefiting from more time spent with parents at home.
School-age children will be very aware of their different lifestyle and will have good days and challenging days, missing school and friends.
This has certainly been the case in our home with our two children.
To close today’s post on a lighter note and with my daughter’s permission, I am sharing her thoughts on a remedy to COVID-19.
Please read the small print at the end too.
‘Bubble bubble COVID is trouble.
Make lightning strike and thunder rumble.
Free us from this quarantine,
starting with a flip flop green.
Sprinkle shells from a far off coast,
and dirty crumbs from mouldy toast.
Black lenses from a sunglasses frame,
and a pair of dice from a long lost game,
A half-eaten chocolate from Easter gone by,
And a feather from a tropical bird in the sky.
Finally a leaf from a gold olive tree
and a pinch of luck to set me free.’
This remedy has not been medically tested so please do not try at home.
Ingredients included were imagined rather than found in our home.
Useful resources for further information:
- Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH): Advice relating to the use of Ibuprofen in children with fever.
- Flow chart to advise parents when to seek medical advice if their child is unwell.
- NHS latest Covid-19 updates.
- Great Ormond Street Hospital Covid 19 summary.
- Key messages for parents relating to Covid 19.
- NHS Coronavirus and children.