NHS Lothian is urging parents not to hesitate to bring their children to hospital if they are worried they are seriously unwell.
Doctors at the Emergency Department of the Sick Kids Hospital at Sciennes, and at St John’s Hospital, Livingston say they are concerned that parents are wary of bringing children in, ether because they are fearful of being exposed to the coronavirus, or because they think services will be too busy.
Yet children will still get unwell, have accidents and need attention just as they always do.
Their message to worried parents is simple: “We are here for you, just as we always are.”
In fact, rather than caring for kids up to the age of 13 years as has been usual, the Sick Kids Hospital is now seeing children up until their 16th birthday.
Fiona Mitchell, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services said: “We know there is anxiety in families just now but our services are here for you.
“If you suspect that a child in your care has symptoms of the coronavirus like a new, persistent cough or fever it is very important to call 111 first and not to bring your child straight to hospital.
“We would also ask you to use NHS inform and NHS 24 for advice on how to look after an unwell child for any other reason as normal. But we would not want you to delay bringing your child to Hospital if you thought they were seriously unwell.
“The Emergency Departments at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and at St John’s Hospital Livingston have been reconfigured to keep children with possible Covid-19 infection isolated from those without symptoms of the virus so you should not be afraid to bring your child in if they are seriously unwell”.