Coronavirus COVID-19: Advice For Parents

All parents should read the following information from Great Ormond Street Hospital.

This information sheet from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) sets out the advice and action the NHS, UK Government and World Health Organisation are taking to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The situation is changing constantly so we will update this information as needed – you can always check the GOV.UK website for up to the minute advice.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A: This is a virus that affects the lungs and therefore people’s breathing.

Q: What are the symptoms?

A: The symptoms are:

  • A cough
  • High temperature
  • Difficulty breathing

However, these are similar to lots of other common illnesses. The only way you can be sure if someone has coronavirus is to test them.

If you are concerned, please do not take your child to your doctor or pharmacist – stay at home and call NHS 111 for advice.

Q: What precautions should I take?

A: The advice from the NHS is as follows:


  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work or school.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.


  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Q: My child has a long-term health condition, what should I do?

Currently, our advice is the same for everyone – we do not think you need to take any extra precautions if your child has a long-term health condition.

The risk level to the public of catching the virus is currently moderate – this has been decided by the Chief Medical Officers for the UK.

About COVID-19 coronavirus

  • At the moment, there is a bug affecting some people who have travelled to places like China and Italy.
  • The bug affects the lungs, making it harder to breathe.
  • There is a small number of people in the UK who have the virus at the moment, but the Government thinks more people could get it in the next few weeks and months.
  • You do not need to panic or do anything differently. The NHS says we should all:
    • Wash our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds lots of times during the day.
    • Wash your hands when you get home and when you arrive at work or school.
    • Use alcohol gel if you cannot use soap and water.
    • If you need to cough or sneeze, always use a tissue to catch it rather than your hands. If you don’t have any tissues, use your sleeve instead.of this Don’t touch your face – eyes, nose and mouth – if you haven’t
      washed your hands.
    • Throw your used tissue in a rubbish bin. Do not carry it around with
      you or leave it on the side.
    • NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you
      need medical help and advise you what to do. Use this service if:

      • You think you might have coronavirus.
      • In the last 14 days you’ve been to a country or area with a high
        risk of coronavirus – see the advice for travellers on the NHS website 
      • You’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.
      • Do not go to your doctor or pharmacist.

For more information from the NHS see NHS website.

Information for children is available at BBC Newsround website.

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