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Kids with asthma might not have to go back to school, expert says

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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.”

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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. 

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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.

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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.  

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Police restart search for Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett as skull found

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The search for murder victim Keith Bennet has resumed as ‘potential human remains’ were found on moorland, police have confirmed.

The remains were found during an independent search on Saddleworth Moor by author Russell Edwards, who reported his discovery to Greater Manchester Police.

Detectives are said to be analysing a small sample of the remains and some clothing, the MailOnline reports.

Twelve year old Bennett was one of the five children tortured and killed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the 1960s. His body has never been recovered.

GMP said in a statement: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.

“Officers met with Mr. Edwards yesterday evening (September 29th), and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.

“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.

“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.

“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”

Bennett was lured into a van by Hindley on June 16th, 1964. He was then taken to Saddleworth Moor, where he was sexually abused and murdered by Brady. 

Despite his heartbroken mother’s pleas, neither Brady nor Hindley ever revealed where they had buried his body. 

Winnie Johnson continued visiting Saddleworth Moor to search for her son until her death in 2012. 

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Cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death revealed

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Queen Elizabeth’s exact cause of death has been revealed as an extract of her death certificate is released to the public.

The Registrar General for Scotland, Paul Lowe, confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen’s death was registered in Aberdeenshire on September 16th, and that the cause of her death was old age.

The document, released by National Records of Scotland, notes the Queen died at 3.10pm on Thursday September 8th. 

The Queen’s only daughter Princess Anne is named as the ‘informant’ on the document, and would have notified the local registrar of her mother’s death.

Anne, who accompanied her mother’s coffin as it travelled from Balmoral to London via Edinburgh, was with the head of state in her last moments.

She said: “I was fortunate to share the last twenty-four hours of my dearest mother’s life.”

Queen Elizabeth was laid to rest on September 19th following a historic seventy-year reign on the throne. 

Her Majesty spent four days lying-in-state at Westminster Hall ahead of the state funeral, where around 250,000 Royal well-wishers came to pay their respects and say a final goodbye.

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Royal Mail to strike for 19 days with Black Friday and Christmas deliveries affected

Strike action will take place across October and November

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Black Friday and Christmas deliveries face delays as Royal Mail workers prepare to strike across the next two months.

The Communication Workers Union announced that action in October and November will be a mixture of ‘single days and rolling action’ across Royal Mail Group’s network.

This includes walkouts from 4am on October 13th for twenty-four hours, and then again on October 20th and 25th, as well as November 28th. 

The union said the strike action will have a ‘dramatic impact’ on deliveries, and will cover peak mail periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas build-up.

It could also impact Amazon’s second Prime Day, with sale dates for subscribers on October 11th and 12th.

The CWU says the strike action comes following an ‘outrageous’ decision made by the Royal Mail Group’s senior management to withdraw from major national agreements, push ahead with cuts to workers’ terms and conditions and ‘completely sideline’ the union.

General secretary Dave Ward said: “This is a significant announcement, but it is one which matches the level of anger our members feel at the way Royal Mail Group has treated them.

“The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid. These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.

Postal workers across the UK now face the fight of their lives to save their jobs and the service they provide to every household and business in the UK.”

Ward went on to urge everyone to ‘stand with their local postal worker’, adding: “If Royal Mail Group are allowed to get away with this then it sends a green light to every rogue big business in the UK.

“We will not stand by and see the Royal Mail Group become the next P&O but we need your backing to win.”

However, the Royal Mail says changes are needed as it is currently losing £1million a day. A spokesperson said: “On September 22nd, Royal Mail invited CWU to enter into talks through Acas to find a resolution to our dispute on change and pay.

“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.

“Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. We operate in a competitive market, and our customers have choices… Further strikes and resistance to transformation by CWU will only make our financial position worse, and threatens the long-term job security of our postmen and women.

“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and engage urgently on the changes required.

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

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