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Testing for Covid-19 for Children when they are unwell
We are getting a lot of calls regarding COVID-19 testing for children at the practice. Many schools and parents are not 100% clear on when you need to get a COVID-19 test for a child and how to arrange this test. To help clear things up we have prepared this information sheet on our website.
GPs cannot carry out COVID-19 tests we simply have not been given the equipment needed to do these tests.
How do I arrange a Covid-19 test?
In order to arrange a test you should go online to the following website:
Alternatively, if you cannot go online please call 119 (not 111) to arrange a test.
When do I or my child need the test?
If you or your child has any of the main coronavirus symptoms – either a new continuous cough, a fever, or a loss of or change in smell and taste – you should get tested. If your child doesn’t have any of the above three symptoms of COVID-19 but has other cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, they don’t need to be tested. However, the UK senior clinicians are keeping the symptoms that define COVID-19 under review and will continue to use evidence to adjust these if it becomes necessary.
You should have your child tested within three days of their symptoms starting, as tests are only effective for five days after the symptoms first appear.
What exactly do you mean by a continuous cough?
Your child needs tested if they have a cough that has lasted for more than an hour, if they have had three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours, or if they are coughing more than usual.
What is a high temperature?
A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back. If you have a thermometer you can take their temperature – a high temperature is 37.8C or higher. They may feel warm, cold or shivery.
Do I need to self-isolate my child and the rest of the family while I wait for the test?
Your child needs to self isolate and not go to school or nursery until they either test negative or they have been in self isolation for 10 days from when they first got ill. If symptoms worsen or last for more than 10 days, call 111. If they still have a fever for more than 10 days, they need to continue isolating for 48 hours after it ends.
Unfortunately everyone within the household needs to isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms. This is because they can take that long to develop and you can pass the virus on even if you don’t have symptoms yet. This means any brothers or sisters need to stay off school or nursery and no one should be leaving the house unless in an emergency or to get tested.
Tips for going for the test with a child
What if the test comes back as positive?
If your child tests positive they need to isolate for 10 days from the day their symptoms first appeared. Everyone else in the house will need to isolate for 14 days from when these symptoms first appeared.
If my child is self-isolating can I go out to do shopping for food or medicine?
No, everyone in the household should isolate which means nobody should leave the house unless in an emergency or to get tested. Ask your family, friends, or neighbours if they can collect essentials for you like food or medicine, or arrange for things to be delivered. If you’re having trouble isolating and need support, call the practice and ask to speak to Judith Sharrod our Care Coordinator for advice or call Pulling Together Ludlow for help on 01584 817250.