Getting back to school

Health advice and guidance

Covid testing

Education is essential for a child’s development so it is crucial that children continue to safely attend school.

The scientific evidence shows that coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a much lower risk to children than adults of becoming severely ill. There is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. However, there will still be risks while coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community.

Advice from Kelly O'Neill, Director for Public Health at Hounslow Council:

“The risk to children from coronavirus is low and it is important to keep children in school because we know that a good education can help to remove some of the health inequalities that can negatively impact children’s life chances. 

“The most important thing that everyone can do to prevent the spread of infection is to wash their hands regularly and to catch any coughs or sneezes in a tissue, or their elbow. I’d ask parents not to send their children to school if they are ill, ensure they stay at home, isolate and book a test if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus – a continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of taste and smell.  This will help us to prevent the spread of the virus so that we can keep schools open. 

“With flu season just around the corner I would also encourage parents with eligible children to get them immunised to help further protect them and their families.” 

Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if:

  • they are showing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • someone in their household is showing symptoms
  • they are told by the NHS Test and Trace service that they have been in close contact with a positive case and they are asked to self-isolate
  • they have travelled to a country not on the travel corridor list, when you must quarantine on return to the UK

If anyone in your household is displaying symptoms you must all stay home and self-isolate

Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms. Inform your nursery, childminder, school or college of the results.

If the test is positive, follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and help NHS Test and Trace reach your contacts.  If you or anyone in your family feels that they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition worsens, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days then use the NHS 111 online service.  If you do not have internet access call NHS 111, and for a medical emergency dial 999.  Call 111 if you’re worried about a baby or child, or 999 if you need to.  Do not delay getting help if you are worried and trust your instincts.

Remember to regularly wash your hands and encourage children to do so too.  Keep a safe distance from other households, including at drop off or pick up times and use a face covering in line with guidance from your school or college. Following these rules supports the action your schools, nursery, childminder or college is taking and helps keep us all safe.

Childhood routine vaccinations

It is really important that children are up to date with the vaccinations to protect them from several contagious and potentially serious diseases..

COVID-19 has unfortunately delayed vaccination for some children. Parents can book an appointment with their GP.  All London GPs have adapted their delivery of vaccinations to ensure that they are safely vaccinating children in COVID-19 secure venues with social distancing, Personal Protective Equipment and infection control measures in place. Visit the NHS website for more information.

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