Asthma UK has warned parents who have children with asthma to contact their GP if they have concerns about sending them back to school on June 1st.
People with asthma are classed among the clinically vulnerable with regards to coronavirus, but asthma does not make you more likely to catch the virus – although the symptoms can be worse if you do catch it.
As schools begin to reopen as part of the lockdown easing process introduced by the government, many parents who have children with asthma are concerned about their child’s safety.
Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s clinical lead and a practising GP, said: “Going back to school after a long break is usually an exciting time for children. Understandably, we’ve heard that parents of children with asthma are more concerned this time round.
“The best thing you can do for your child, whether they’re in school or at home, is to make sure their asthma is managed well.”
He added: “If you are worried about your child’s asthma, contact their GP, who will be able to advise whether their condition is under control before they return to school.”
The Asthma UK website states: “if you have concerns about your child’s return to school, contact your GP, who will be able to assess whether their asthma is well-controlled”.
If your child is shielding you should not send them back to school – people who are shielding are classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, and will have been told to shield by their GP.
If your child is not shielding but someone in your household is, your child should not return to school until they are able to maintain a stringent social distance from the person that is shielding.
Although having asthma does not make an individual more prone to catching coronavirus, long-term lung conditions can cause the symptoms of coronavirus to be more severe.
The Asthma UK site offers advice to parents, saying that ‘there are things you can do now’ whether your child is returning to school in June or September.
This advice includes getting into a good routine, taking preventer medicines regularly, attending asthma reviews and having an up to date asthma action plan.
Your asthma review may have been postponed due to COVID-19, however, so the site says to get in touch with your GP surgery to rearrange an appointment over the phone.
If you need an urgent appointment with a GP or asthma nurse as your child is using their reliever inhaler three or more times a week, coughing or wheezing at night or feeling out of breath, you should do so.
The site also advises parents to find out who will be working with your child at school as this may have changed due to COVID-19, and to make sure they are aware of your child’s symptoms and have a copy of their asthma action plan.
As schools begin to reopen the new protocol will be smaller classes with no more than 15 pupils, a bigger emphasis on hand washing and school-specific social distancing measures.
Asthma UK urges parents to keep an eye out for communication from your school and to contact them if you have further questions.
The government has also said that children and teachers do not need to wear a face mask in school, but people should wear non-surgical face coverings when it is not possible to socially distance, such as on public transport. A face mask may also make breathing harder for people with asthma, so you might not wear one if this is this case for you or your child.
You can read the full release from Asthma UK here.
Teen stops young girl being taken by stranger claiming to be ‘dad’s friend’ as she walked home from school
Emma’s quick thinking saved the school girl from being taken by a stranger
A teenage girl has been praised for her quick thinking as she prevented a child being taken from a stranger.
Fifteen year old Emma Carlile was walking home from school through Wallasey Village in Wirral, Merseyside, when she noticed a man approaching a school girl and telling her that he was her ‘dad’s mate.’
Emma noticed that the girl, who is believed to be around eleven years old, looked alarmed, so decided to intervene.
Emma’s dad, Rik, told the Liverpool Echo: “She said she was walking along and she saw a ‘creepy looking man’ approach a young girl and put his arm around her, which she thought looked odd.
“She noticed when the man approached her she looked a bit startled and then she heard the man say, ‘I’m your dad’s friend, don’t you remember me? I’ve been to your house before’.”
Rik continued: “The girl was saying ‘no, I don’t remember’ but he kept going on saying, ‘I’m your dad’s friend, I’ve met you before.’ At one point, the girl tried to get her phone out and the man said, ‘no you don’t need to ring anyone, you know who I am, I’m your dad’s mate.’”
Emma followed them around a corner and, as they approached a crossing, shouted the first name that came into her head.
She said: “Hey Bethany! Dad will be home tonight from police training.”
The girl apparently looked at her and looked startled but relieved at the same time. As soon as Emma spoke, the man quickly walked away down towards Wallasey Village train station.
Rik said that Emma walked with the girl until she was home safely and informed her parents about what had just happened.
Rik shared his daughter’s encounter on Facebook to warn people with children walking home alone from school. He wrote: “WARNING! My 15 year old daughter was walking home from Weatherhead today through Wallasey village and witnessed an older man walk up to a girl with a Harry Potter backpack and a green coat.
“The man put his arm around her claiming he was her “dads friend,” My daughter recognised that the girl looked alarmed and didn’t know the man and followed them from by the co-op to the crossing by the petrol station.
“Please make your children aware if they walk home alone.”
Emma described the man as being around 6ft tall with short grey hair and stubble. He was of large build wearing a green t-shirt and black trousers.
Leaked documents reveal which Covid restrictions may remain after July 19th
We might have to wear our face masks for a little bit longer…
Leaked documents are claiming that the current social distancing rules and restrictions will be staying in place after the revised ‘freedom day’ on July 19th.
The memo, obtained by Politico, listed a number of restrictions that the government plans to keep in place for the foreseeable future.
According to the leaked documents, face masks may have to remain mandatory in certain settings for the long term, employers and employees will be told to decide amongst themselves as to whether they want to return to the office or work from home.
As well as that, it says some form of border control and quarantine will be needed for a significant period of time to prevent new variants entering the country.
The memo also states that plastic screens – such as those currently used in hairdressers and restaurants – may actually spread Covid rather than prevent it.
Ministers are also considering bringing in new rules for businesses to keep workplaces better ventilated, the documents claim.
Cabinet office sources have since stressed that the document was one of several including multiple options – with nothing signed off by ministers yet or anywhere near being announced.
This comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back the highly anticipated ‘freedom day’, June 21st, by just short of a month to July 19th.
Johnson said this was a result of the new Delta variant, which makes up for 90% of new cases across the country: “I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.
“I am confident we won’t need more than four weeks – it’s unmistakably clear that the vaccines are working – but now is the time to ease off the accelerator.
“We have the chance to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”
Covid vaccine to be mandatory for care home workers
The Covid-19 vaccine is to become mandatory for all care home staff members across the country, new reports detailed last night.
It is believed that care staff will be given sixteen weeks to receive the jab or will face the possibilities of either being moved to a different posting or losing their jobs entirely.
The Guardian reported that the new plans are expected to be announced in the next couple of days.
It is expected that ministers will also be pushing ahead with compulsory vaccination for most of the 1.5 million people working in social care across the country, despite employer and staff organisations warning that it could result in workers quitting rather than getting vaccinated.
The reports also claim that the government is keen to make it mandatory for the 1.38 million people who are employed by the NHS in England to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – proposals that have already been criticised by groups representing doctors, nurses and other staff.
Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine will not be affected.
The government has been widely criticised for its lack of support of care homes at the start of the pandemic; residents were heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and significant numbers, including many people with dementia, died as a result.
An investigation by Amnesty International late last year found that a series of ‘shockingly irresponsible’ Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights.
As a result, between March 2nd and June 12th this year, 28,186 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded in care homes across England, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with Covid-19 during this period.