Coronavirus Support & Information
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been affecting people across the world, you might be worried about what this means for you and how it might affect your life.
We’ve put together some basic information as well as an update on how the outbreak is going to affect our work at Tiny Tickers.
Please note we are not medical professionals therefore if you require specific advice please call NHS 111.
Latest Government Advice
Everyone in the UK has been ordered to stay at home. This means you can’t:
- Go out, unless it is to shop for things like food, medicine and essentials
- Meet up with friends or family you do not live with
You can still go out to exercise once a day, even if it’s for a short walk.
What is Coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are responsible for different illnesses including the common cold. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
How is coronavirus spread?
The coronavirus is spread by droplet infection – coughing and sneezing or by close contact with someone who has the virus.
Like the normal cold virus, it’s spread from one person to another. To reduce the spread of viruses like these, the World Health Organisation strongly advises you cover your mouth and nose when sneezing using a tissue. (If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.) Put the tissue straight into a closed bin. Wash your hands with soap and hot water and try to avoid people who cough and sneeze by keeping your distance or if you know someone who is currently unwell with the symptoms.
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
My child has a heart condition – what should I do about Coronavirus?
The British Congenital Cardiac Association has updated its coronavirus guidance for patients with CHD. The latest guidance has been developed in association with the NHS England Clinical Reference Group and patient organisations including us here at Tiny Tickers.
It includes further information regarding the three groups considered extremely vulnerable, where shielding is recommended:
- Solid organ transplant recipients
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease
It also discusses other CHD conditions and the measures patients should be taking, and the current situation with services nationally.
Read the full BCCA guidance here.
Anyone who is concerned for their child’s health should contact their doctor, nurse, specialist centre or CHD nursing team for advice. The NHS advise “Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.”
- Follow the same recommended precautions about good hygiene.
- Try to lead a healthy lifestyle – eating a healthy diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables, taking regular exercise and getting plenty of sleep – as this will help the immune system to deal with any infection.
- If you or your child do feel unwell, it’s still really important to carry on taking any medication prescribed. Ask someone to collect your prescriptions from the pharmacy if necessary.
- You can also contact your specialist cardiac nurse should you have specific cardiac-related questions
How to talk to your child about coronavirus
News of the Coronavirus is everywhere, on TV, social media and in most conversations. Many parents and carers are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that’s reassuring and informative. Here’s a few Tiny Tickers top tips help;
Find out what your child already knows
Ask questions at your child’s age level. For younger children think about asking them if they have any questions about the new ‘sickness’ or why we’re all staying at home to make it easier. Once you learn how much your children know you can help fill any gaps or correct any incorrect information they’ve seen or heard.
Follow their lead
If your children don’t want to talk or don’t seem interested- don’t push it. It’s okay for them to not have any questions.
If your child asks about something and you don’t know how to answer, say so. Explain that most people who get sick feel like they have a cold or flu.
Young children might find it reassuring to know that hospitals and doctors are prepared to help whilst older kids might be more comforted to know that scientists are on the case.
It’s okay to not be okay
Let your children know that it’s normal to feel stressed, anxious or upset by what’s happening. Everyone feels these ways sometimes. Recognising these feeling and knowing that stressful times pass in time can help build resilience.
Just make sure you give your kids space to face their fears. It’s natural to worry about yourself, your parents, your grandparents. Just let them know that you’re there to listen, answer questions or just play games as a distraction.
Looking after yourself
Whilst self-isolating and social distancing is key, make sure to also look after your mental well-being.
- Coronoavirus and your well-being: a guide from Mind Charity https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing
- Looking after yourself: a guide from Tiny Tickers https://www.tinytickers.org/support-info/looking-after-your-mental-health/
Other sources of information
- NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51674696
- British Congenital Cardiac Association https://www.bcca-uk.org/
How is Coronavirus affecting Tiny Tickers
Even though we are facing a huge public health emergency, a baby will still be born with a serious heart condition every 2 hours. That fact remains. As does the fact that we will now need to do even more to protect them, their families, and the health professionals that look after them, over the coming weeks and months.
Our CEO, Jon Arnold, has released a statement outlining what elements of our support will be most affected and how we plan, as a team, to continue our support for families across the UK.
“As our supporters, beneficiaries and fundraisers, I thought you should know how the charity is approaching the Coronavirus pandemic. In short, we are bracing ourselves for a big impact in the coming weeks.” Jon’s full statement is available here.
We are urgently assessing the potential impact of Coronavirus on our funding. With mass participation events such as marathons, office activities and school fundraising being cancelled or postponed, we’re preparing for tough times. We are limiting non-essential spending now so that, if there is a significant drop in our income as a result of the virus, we are as well-placed as possible to continue our key operations and services.