COVID-19 - resources for parents and carers

At RCPCH we understand this is a worrying time for children and their families. Below are some useful resources from across the UK.
Last modified
19 May 2020

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Key messages

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

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.

  • Up to date information about staying at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus is available for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste) 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.
  • Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (here's a handy video), and if you cannot wash your hands use hand sanitiser.
  • If your child has a medical condition or injury they should continue to access treatment and attend medical appointments as recommended by their hospital, GP or healthcare professionals. We have added a poster to explain how to access help during this time - see below for both English and Welsh language versions. (You can also download the posters below.
  • If your child has received a letter from the NHS to advise them to 'shield' during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have developed a set of frequently asked questions to support your child and family during the 'shielding' 12 week period. 

Talking to children and young people about COVID-19

Guidance from Children's Commissioners

Children's Commissioners across the UK have created guidance especially for children and young people:

Stay at home activities

Tips for parents

Books, posters and colouring in to download

Podcast

  • Dr Ranj (paediatrician and TV doctor) has a one-off podcast where he answers children's questions on coronavirus. 

Online resources

Medicines advice

Visiting hospital

Staying safe advice from UK Governments

England

Scotland 

Wales

Northern Ireland

  • 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.
  • 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. 

Condition and situation specific resources for families and children

Autism and ADHD

Cancer

Cardiology 

Crohn's and colitis

Diabetes

Disability and complex health needs

Epilepsy

Mental health and wellbeing

Overseas visitors

Newborn babies

Pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Renal 

Respiratory

Sensory

Social care

Young carers

Other advice for parents and families

Advice if you are struggling because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you are struggling because of COVID –19 you can find helpful information on the UK Government website. This includes if you are feeling unsafe, worried about going into work, paying the bills, getting food or having somewhere to live or are concerned about your or someone else’s mental health.  

Keeping children safe from accidents at home

Coping with a crying baby

Safeguarding children

E-safety

Education and exams

Explaining bereavement to children

Face coverings for children

Sleep

  • Changes from your usual routine can affect your families' sleep patterns. Here are some tips from a clinical psychologist in the Evelina London sleep team, about how to help maintain sleep quality.

Financial advice and support

  • Citizens Advice has a range of information, including: help you may be access, paying bills, work arrangements and children's education during COVID-19.
  • Turn 2 Us has guidance for accessing benefits during the coronavirus outbreak.

Helplines

For everyone 

  • NSPCC provide a Helpline that is staffed by trained professionals who can provide expert advice and support if you’re concerned about a child, if you’re a parent or carer looking for advice or if you’re a professional in need of information and guidance.
  • Shout provides free, confidential support, 24/7 via text for anyone in crisis. You can text SHOUT to 85258 in the UK to text with a trained Crisis Volunteer 
  • The Samaritans have a free helpline that is available 24/7 for anyone who is having a difficult time or is worried about someone else. You can call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

For children and young people

  • ChildLine provides a helpline for any child who is worried or needs help. You can call 0800 1111 any time for free or have an online chat with a counsellor.
  • The Mix provides a free confidential helpline, crisis text line and online service for under 25s that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem.   

For parents and carers

  • Young Minds has a Parents’ and Carers’ Helpline if you are worried about a child or young person’s behaviour or mental health. 
  • Contact run a free helpline for parents and carers in the UK with a disabled child aged from birth to 25 who want to talk through their issues with an expert adviser.

Parent and carer national survey

The University of Plymouth has launched a nationwide survey to find out how the COViD-19 Stay Home advice has influenced how parents seek help for a sick or injured child. You can take part in the survey or find out more here.
 

Latest updates on this page

Updates in this version (19 May 2020)

  • Added link to the UK Government webpage 'Find out what you can do if you are struggling because of COVID-19'.

Updates in version 18 May 2020

  • Updated COVID-19 symptoms to include a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste. 

Updates in version 15 May 2020

  • Added link to a parent and carer national survey looking at how the COViD-19 Stay Home advice has influenced how parents seek help for a sick or injured child.