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

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Alex Watson

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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.”

Credit: NIAID / Flickr

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. 

Credit: CDC / Unsplash

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.

Credit: Astronomy & Society Group / Flickr

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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B&M announces plans to open 45 new stores

Who else is excited for this?

Proper Manchester

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Hugh Venables / Geograph

We’ve got some good news for bargain hunters, as discount retailer B&M is set to open up to 45 new stores in the UK.

The company has announced that it plans to open more stores than expected this year, after its sales and profit jumped during the pandemic.

B&M kept most of its stores open during lockdown while some rivals shut their doors, with the demand for bargains rising as money became tight.

Albert Bridge / Geograph

As a result, it expects to open between 40 and 45 new stores before the end of the financial year – with most opening towards the end of this period – although details of where they’ll be located are unclear at the moment.

Simon Arora, the chief executive of the retailer, said: “Our business model is proving well-attuned to the evolving needs of customers, given our combination of everyday value across a broad range of product categories being sold at convenient out-of-town locations.

“Our people have risen to the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, not least in serving our customers through a period of high demand, keeping our shelves filled, providing a clean and safe shopping environment, as well as sourcing higher volumes than we had planned.”

Jaggery / Geograph

B&M was given permission to keep its stores open while others were forced to shut during the summer lockdown as it also sells food and DIY products.

Amisha Chohan, an equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, added: “B&M announced another positive trading update this morning, proving it is firing on all cylinders in both the UK and France.

“The retailer is also winning market share and has attracted a new, middle class, customer base – who are beginning to shop with them regularly.

“We believe B&M will continue to outperform peers as consumers become much more money conscious.”

Are you excited for more B&Ms?

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Parrots removed from wildlife park after they taught each other to swear at customers

This is hilarious…

Alex Watson

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Lincolnshire Wildlife Park/Facebook

Five African grey parrots who were adopted by Lincolnshire Wildlife Park taught each other to swear in isolation. 

The group of parrots at the zoo have now had to be put back into isolation to stop them from swearing at customers.

Adopted together on August 15th, they shared a room at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park but it turns out they’ve been up to no good in lockdown.

Although staff at the park have found it hilarious and enjoyed watching the parrots, swift action has had to be taken when they started cursing at customers.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park/Facebook

CEO of the park, Steve Nichols said the parrots have been put in a ‘time out’, although he did confirm this isn’t the first time they’ve had swearing parrots. 

He told LincolnshireLive: “Every now and then you’ll get one that swears and it’s always funny. We always find it very comical when they do swear at you.”

He added: “The more they swear the more you usually laugh which then triggers them to swear again.”

The room full of swearing birds, the chief said. was similar to ‘an old working men’s club scenario’.  

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park/Facebook

Within 20 minutes of being in front of customers, the birds were swearing at them.

Mr Nichols confirmed that it was actually just a funny situation, explaining: “We found it highly amusing and the customers were fine – they were no problem at all.

“But we worried because we had a weekend coming up and children coming.”

The plan for the birds now is to release them separately so they can’t ‘encourage’ each other. Everyone at the park who has been working hard throughout the pandemic has enjoyed the laughs from the mischievous parrots.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park/Facebook

“It has been a real rough year, but we are the eternal optimists and we have no option. We have to keep moving forward,” said Mr Nichols.

The parrots have both been good for business.

Mr Nichols explained: “It is quite an unusual place where you are walking around and people are swearing at aviaries trying to get a parrot to swear back at them.”

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Government ‘preparing a total social lockdown plan’ for the North of England

Thoughts?

Alex Watson

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Louis Hansel/Unsplash

Pubs and restaurants could be forced to close for a fortnight as part of a ‘total social lockdown’ plan.

The emergency plan is currently being considered by the government following spikes in the number of cases across the North of England.

In Greater Manchester, each borough is currently at ‘Red Alert’ with the infection rate in Bolton one of the highest in the country (235.1 cases per 100,000 people). 

As things stand, in Greater Manchester people cannot visit friends and family in their homes or gardens and cannot socialise with people outside of their household or bubble in any public place.

These rules could now be rolled out across the North. 

The Times reports that a ‘social lockdown’ was presented as one of the options by the Covid-19 strategy committee, the week before new restrictions were imposed.

The emergency plans have been drawn up after local restrictions put in place in areas such as Greater Manchester failed to reverse the surge in infections.

Under these proposed plans, schools, shops, factories and offices where staff cannot work from home will remain open.

It would also see meeting other people socially in any indoor location banned, as well as pubs and restaurants being ordered to close for two weeks.

London may also face these same restrictions, if cases continue to rise in the capital.

From today, every person in England is required to self-isolate by law if they test positive for Covid-19 or are contacted by the NHS Track and Trace service. 

Those who fail to do so risk fines starting at £1,000 that can reach £10,000.

The number of people who have tested positive (infection rate) in Manchester now stands at 201 per 100,000. An additional 1,000 new confirmed cases were recorded over the week leading to September 24th. 

 

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