"ministers say missing school would put “a huge dent in children’s life chances",
parents from The Long Covid Support group say Long Covid is too.
"Schools are losing touch with some of the most vulnerable families across England during the pandemic, as the threat of truancy fines leads parents to de-register their children, with many feeling abandoned and isolated.
This is a real issue in the Long Covid Kids - Parents Support Group with parents caring for chronically ill children feeling overwhelmed with pressure to send their children back to school following a Coronavirus infection.
The one thing parents have all learnt from their first hand experience of this condition is how crucial
REST, REST, REST
is for their children.
It doesn't seem to matter what severity of symptoms the child experiences during the early part of their infection, the need to rest is crucial in their recovery.
Children can be Asymptomatic
Children can have mild symptoms
Children can experience severe symptoms.
One parent said her "child sleeps in the car on the way to school exhasted from getting ready and falls asleep immediately after school on the way home and that it is killing her to see her child like that"
The Long Covid Kids parents collective advice is to keep your childs activity levels low and build in as much opportunity to rest as possible.
Parents have seen their children, 'bounce back' after the isolation phase and then go on to experience a sudden decline, and for other parents, their child has experienced clusters of symptoms, coming and going.
Photo credit The Guardian
The one thing parents have all learnt from their first-hand experience of this condition is how crucial
"The government has said that parents who do not send their children back to school should face the usual penalties for non-attendance. But, although ministers say missing school would put “a huge dent in children’s life chances”, some families with members suffering from serious health conditions say it is not worth the risk. With headteachers saying they cannot authorise their absences because of the government’s policy, they face fines of between £60 and £2,500 for each parent" See guidelines here.
The group BRUTS have been campaigning for change and "says it is getting daily reports of GPs declining to write letters to confirm health conditions, saying they have been told not to do so. A spokesman for the British Medical Association says schools should not be asking patients for a GP’s letter. Ultimately, this should be a discussion between the school and the parents, without the need to involve the GP,” he says.
Parents of children with Long Covid are experiencing the same challenges. It appears there aren't any guidelines for schools on how to work with parents that have Long Covid.
Long Covid Kids are calling for the Department of Education and Public Health to work with them to create an interim policy that will support, not punish, parents who are caring for children with the long lasting symptoms of Covid, Long Covid.
LongCovidKids.org is a parent and patient-led campaign & support group for parents of children with Long Covid. Our story started with a short film on long-lasting symptoms of Covid in children & are working on The Long Covid Kids Study with PeopleWith