It is a natural instinct for parents to worry about the health of their children, and with the spread of coronavirus occurring at an unprecedented rate, it is not surprising that mums and dads are becoming increasingly concerned their little ones could suffer badly if they developed the condition.
With more than 120,000 people having contracted the flu-like virus since it emerged in China in December 2019, and over 4,000 having died from the illness, more and more people are panicking that their loved ones – particularly children – will be the next to become infected.
However, while parents should be vigilant at not sending their youngsters to children’s nurseries in Manchester if they have any cold or flu symptoms, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reassured mums and dads that kids are not particularly vulnerable to the condition.
A report by the Joint Mission and the WHO-China revealed those under the age of 18 have a “relatively low attack rate” of about 2.4 per cent, USA Today reported.
Indeed, only 2.5 per cent of cases with the virus below this age have become severe and 0.2 per cent became critical.
According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, no child under the age of nine in China has died from the virus out of the 80,788 cases it has experienced over the last four months.
However, it is essential parents help to contain the spread of COVID-19 by not sending their children into educational settings if they are unwell.
The government has revealed the incubation is between two days and two weeks, so people might have it without being aware and, subsequently, could risk other kids contracting it if they are sent in before symptoms kick in.
Those who have travelled through or to a country with a heavy COVID-19 presence in the last two weeks or been in contact with someone who has been confirmed as being infected with coronavirus need to seek advice from NHS 111 and be tested for the virus.
Children who test positive, as well as those who have been in contact with a confirmed case or travelling to a specified country, such as Iran, Italy, and Hubei Province in China, need to be isolated at home for two weeks, even if they are currently well.
Even if your little one has not been exposed to COVID-19 risks, now is the ideal time to really teach them about good hand-washing practices.
They may be familiar with washing after going to the toilet, but remind them to also do so before leaving home, on arrival at school or nursery, after breaks or sports, before preparing or eating food, including snacks, and before leaving school.
It is also wise to get them to always use soap and water when washing their hands, or alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol if this is not available. They should be reminded to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and throw this in a bin straight away. They should also get in the habit of blowing their nose and wiping away any snot.
Illnesses spread very quickly in educational settings, as children do not have the best hygiene practices, but these techniques will really help limit the number of youngsters who come down with coronavirus over the next few months.
For more information about what to do if you are worried, NHS 111 has further advice.