Parents Unused to Sick Children Take Them to Hospital for Mild Illnesses
There has been a sharp increase in parents bringing their children to NHS emergency rooms with mild illnesses and fevers because they are unused to seeing their children sick after more than a year of lockdowns.
Several hospitals have noted that parents are circumventing GPs and National Health Service (NHS) telephone services by taking their young offspring to hospitals seeking immediate help, including parents of children who were born during the lockdown and may never have seen their child ill before.
As society begins to reopen and children begin mixing again either at play or in school, there has been a surge in infections such as the rhinovirus which causes colds, that had been otherwise suppressed by government restrictions meant to keep the Chinese coronavirus at bay, according to The Times.
Parents are said to be bringing their children to the hospital for common infections that present with simple runny noses, coughs, and fevers.
Dr Michelle Jacobs of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said that many emergency departments are reporting “record numbers of patients”, including a “sharp increase in children under-five presenting. The majority of these young children are mostly well, but with a mild fever.”
“We absolutely understand and recognise that parents may be concerned, especially if their child is young and this is the first time that they have been unwell. But if they take their child to the emergency department there may be a long delay, potentially over four hours, before being seen which may be difficult and distressing for both parents and children,” Dr Jacobs added.
Bristol Royal Hospital’s Dr Dan Magnus said the emergency ward was operating in the middle of summer like a “winter-level emergency department”.
Dr Camilla Kingdon from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said that while fevers are very common in young children, parents, who have been without the normal support systems such as friends or parents’ groups, become worried.
Last week, it was revealed that the NHS was facing its “biggest pressure” in history, as the lockdowns due to the Chinese virus left the health service with a backlog of 12.2 million patients waiting for elective surgeries. Healthcare bosses also estimate there are another 7.1 million silent patients who did not seek treatment because of the pandemic who are set to come forward demanding medical help.