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Parents assured children will be safe at hospital during pandemic

Photo: Sarah Blackler and Taramarie Johnson at the Paediatric Emergency Department
Photo: Sarah Blackler and Taramarie Johnson at the Paediatric Emergency Department

Published: 29 April 2020

Parents are being urged to continue taking their unwell children to hospital during the pandemic amid concerns some are worried they might be risking them being infected by coronavirus.

Paediatric staff at hospitals across Devon have noticed parents are not taking children to hospital because they are following social distancing guidance and sometimes attending later than advised and only when their child’s illness has worsened.

Parents of unwell children and those with children living with complex underlying health conditions can be assured that major changes have been made to hospitals to avoid the risk of infection.

Doctor Jonny Graham, the Lead Children’s doctor at Torbay Hospital, said: “It is always worrying when your child is unwell, particularly if they need to be seen in hospital. Coming to hospital is a scary thought. Even more so during the Covid pandemic.

“We know some parents have changed their minds about bringing their child to hospital at the last minute, only to return later when their child is more unwell.

“We have made huge changes to the emergency and children’s departments at Torbay Hospital so we can continue to assess children and families in a safe way.

“If you or a health professional feels your child needs hospital assessment, or if you think your child is unwell, we are always happy to see you.”

  • If you’re a parent with a seriously unwell child, we want you to know that the NHS is here for you.
  • Children still get sick and we want you to connect with us when this happens.
  • If you have to go to A&E there will be special arrangements in place to protect you and your child from the risk of infection.
  • You know your child better than anyone else, and if you think your child is unwell or deteriorating you must seek medical help and not delay presentation. Doctors will want to make sure that your child is treated before their condition deteriorates.