COVID Update From Dr. Yiannis, London Paediatrician

COVID-19 update
Flu vaccinations
First Aid Training

COVID-19 update

I hope this latest update finds you and your loved ones well.

It was so heart-warming to see images in the news of children returning to school in early September. The social and emotional benefits of being in school are so valuable to children of all ages. Our own children seemed more excited about the return to school than they have been about the start of any holiday break that I can recall. Like many parents, I can only presume this is a reflection of their love of school rather than the quality of home schooling we provided during lockdown!

Rising cases seemed inevitable after the nationwide lockdown ended and again it seems the situation is changing daily regarding COVID-19. With cases on the rise, it’s understandable that your worries might be too.

However, the key messages relating to children remain unchanged and are still reassuring.

A recent study analysing the first pandemic peak of COVID-19 and how it affected children reported that ‘the experience in England adds to the growing body of evidence on the limited role of children in the COVID-19 pandemic, with just over 1% of confirmed cases occurring in children.’

Serious illness and complications have been very rare including the multisystem inflammatory syndrome referred to in my previous posts.

Key Symptoms of COVID-19

Differentiating COVID-19 from other childhood infections and illnesses can be challenging, particularly when there are a lot of the usual colds and sniffles about at this time of year. Children with mild cold symptoms and runny noses without fever are not a concern and as of the latest advice, do not require testing. Most children have very mild or even no symptoms.

The key symptoms to look out for remain:

  • A high temperature.
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
  • A loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

As always do seek advice from your private paediatrician if you have any concerns. If your child appears increasingly unwell, emergency departments for children are open and safe to attend. Remote video and telephone consultations are proving very popular with families and are suitable for many concerns.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, thank you so much to all families for their understanding and patience on matters such as only attending clinics with one parent, having temperatures checked on arrival and wearing masks. I understand how difficult this can be, especially for new parents who cannot attend together, so thank you again for your understanding.

Flu vaccinations

It’s also that time of year when it is recommended to protect your child against the flu (influenza). Flu is such a common illness and can cause cold symptoms with fever or more severe respiratory infection in children of all ages, especially younger infants.

The flu vaccine is available for children from ages 2 to 11 years by nasal spray and there is also an injected flu vaccine available privately from the age of 6 months that reflects practice in the US and other countries.

The two main types of vaccine are the inactivated flu injection for 6 months to 2 years and live vaccine nasal spray for 2 years onwards. The injection can also be given to children over two years.

Now is the best time to have a flu vaccine, in the autumn before flu starts circulating. For more information, visit our vaccinations page or book an appointment with Dr Yiannis.

Introducing First Aid Training Classes.

Last but not least and with safety in mind, I’m really pleased to have teamed up with Ronan Ging, a Senior Resuscitation Officer, to offer first aid training classes to parents and families. Learning how to deal with emergency situations effectively and efficiently gives parents the added confidence that can really make a difference.

Ronan has tremendous experience and the two-hour classes will teach you basic life support and resuscitation, dealing with choking, and also covers how to deal with the most common accidents. 

All classes will be held online via Zoom. You’ll have plenty of chances to interact and ask questions as you go. 

If you wish to build up your first aid confidence, we have a number of dates available throughout October and November. 

If you are interested in First Aid Training Classes then email and book a place. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

Our practice is here to support you as usual.

I wish you all the very best,

Dr Yiannis

Further resources:

COVID-19 in children: analysis of the first pandemic peak in England.

PIMS: the COVID-19 linked syndrome affecting children-information for families.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Who Needs a Flu Vaccine and When - Flu vaccination for children: leaflets and posters