Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus in the UK. This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.
Below are resources for families from the governments, health agencies and other organisations in the four nations.
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Updates according to date are listed at the bottom of the page.
At RCPCH we understand this is a worrying time for children and their families. So we have put together useful guidance and advice from across the UK.
It is important that we all follow official guidance and information provided by the governments and health agencies so we can protect our families and other people who may become seriously ill if they are infected with COVID-19. It also helps our NHS healthcare workers by protecting them from the virus and stopping our NHS services from becoming overloaded.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature or a continuous cough) stay at home for 7 days. If you live with other people they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got the symptoms.
- Avoid social interactions. Only leave your home for essential reasons. If you do go out always make sure you stay at least 2 metres away from other people.
- Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser.
- If your child has a medical condition they should continue to access treatment and attend medical appointments as recommended by their hospital, GP or healthcare professionals.
Below you can access the most up-to-date guidance in the nation where you live.
Information for everyone
- The UK Government has up to date information about coronavirus. This includes guidance on staying at home and away from others for for everyone and for those most at risk.
- The UK Government has a coronavirus information service on WhatsApp.
- You can download a poster that explains COVID-19 to children below - shared with permission and thanks to University Hospitals Southampton NHSFT.
- RCPCH &Us has a children and young people’s health diary to capture feelings and questions, as well as fun things children are doing at home.
- YoungMinds has advice for children and young people about what to do if they are anxious about coronavirus. They also have tips for parents around talking to your child about the virus.
- The World Health Organization has a factsheet on helping children to cope with stress (PDF) during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has information for pregnant women and their families on COVID-19 and pregnancy.
- We have advice for parents on anti-inflammatory medicines (including ibuprofen) and COVID-19.
- It's always important to prevent accidental injuries, many of which occur in the home, and especially at this time. The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents has helpful advice for keeping children safe and a home and garden safety checklist.
Resources for families of children with serious or complex health needs and disabilities
- WellChild, a UK charity for children and parents with complex needs, has information for parents and carer, which covers treatment plans, carers, hospital appointments and signposts to other resources.
- Contact, a charity for families with disabled children, has an information page on COVID-19, covering education, welfare benefits and the Coronavirus Bill, and more.
- Paediatrician Dr Max Davie, shared tips in this short film to help people with ADHD stay well.
- Public Health England’ has guidance for parents and carers on supporting children's mental health and wellbeing, including advice for families of children with physical health issues, learning disabilities and autism, plus those accessing mental health services and young carers.
- CarersUK has guidance with resources for carers, including how to create a contingency plan and protect those that you care for.
- If you or a member of your household have the symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature and/or a continuous cough) follow advice from Public Health England (available in several languages and an easy read guide).This includes a chart that shows how long household contacts need to self-isolate and a YouTube video.
- At this time looking after your own and your familes’ mental health is very important. Public Health England have produced guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Public Health England has published guidance outlining the people who are extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 and how to protect them. Translations into other languages and an easy read guide (PDF) are available.
- The Department for Education and Public Health England have published guidance for vulnerable children and young people including those who have a social worker and those up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
- Diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19 is available free of charge to all overseas visitors including anyone living in the UK without permission. More information is available in guidance from Public Health England.
- The most up-to-date information provided by the Scottish Government can be found on their website.
- NHS Inform has advice for patients and the public on their website, including stay at home advice and guidance on protecting people who are most at risk of COVID-19. There is also guidance on caring for a fever in babies and in children.
- Parent Club has advice on their website on how to protect your family, how to cope with staying at home and tips on how to talk to children about the virus.
- The NHS 24 website has guidance about when to call the NHS 111 service.
- Official guidance is also available from Health Protection Scotland.
- NHS Inform has information about free treatment for COVID-19 for all overseas visitors to Scotland including refugees and asylum seekers.
- The most up-to-date information provided by the Welsh Government is available on their website including guidance on staying at home and away from others and guidance on protecting those who are most at risk of COVID-19.
- Public Health Wales (PHW) also has guidance on COVID-19 (including a British Sign Language version). Specific Public Health Wales (PHW) guidance for parents and carers is also available.
- NHS Direct Wales 111 has a helpful online self-assessment guide you can click through to let you know when they should be telephoning their helpline. Please complete the questions linked above to determine whether you need to call the helpline before doing so. This will ensure those who do need to speak to advisors over the telephone can do so.
- The Children's Commissioner for Wales has an online Information Hub for Families and Children, with information for children and young people and advice for parents.
- The Public Health Agency (PHA) has produced guidance which can be found on their website. This includes advice on social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- The most up-to-date information provided by the Department for Health in Northern Ireland is available on their website.
- There is also information on nidirect including advice of staying at home and self-isolation.
- The Department of Health Northern Ireland has launched a new COVID-19 NI information app that provides advice and links to vital trusted information.
Updates on this page
Updates in this version published (30 March 2020):
- UK: link to RCPCH children and young people's health diary.
- Families of children with serious or complex health needs and disabilities: guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- England: guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Northern Ireland: new COVID-19 information app.
Updates in version published 26 March 2020:
- UK: The UK Government has launched a coronavirus information service on WhatsApp.
- For families of children with complex needs and disabilities: Paediatrician, Dr Max Davie, shares tips on YouTube to help people with ADHD stay well during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Updates in version published 25 March 2020:
- UK: Link added to COVID-19 resources from Contact, a charity for families with disabled children; Full guidance added on staying at home and away from others.
- England: YouTube guidance on self-isolation; information on diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 being free to all overseas visitors regardless of permission status.
- Northern Ireland: nidirect guidance added.