THE majority of children (0-18) who have been previously identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will soon be told by their doctor that they no longer need to shield.
Does my child need to continue shielding?
Children should continue to shield until 31 July. From Saturday, 1 August, the guidance will be paused so clinically vulnerable people of all ages will no longer need to be advised to shield.
Children will only be removed from the shielded patient list by their GP or specialist doctor following consultation with the child and their family. Specialists and GPs will be asked to contact children and their families to discuss this over the summer. Families do not need to take any immediate action. We expect these consultations to happen over the summer.
Children who are removed will not be advised to shield again if government guidance on shielding is changed in the future.
If your child is transitioning to adult services before 31 July, you should have a discussion with their current and future specialist to determine whether your child should continue shielding.
GPs and specialist clinicians have been informed of the changing guidance.
Why is this changing?
The original shielded patients list was intended to identify people with conditions that put them at highest clinical risk from Covid-19, based on the evidence available at the time. It was developed early in the outbreak when there was less evidence and data on the groups most at risk from Covid-19.
Specialists in the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) have looked at the most recent evidence specific to children and developed specific guidance. The Chief Medical Officer and senior clinicians have reviewed the guidance and are confident in their findings and advice.
The latest evidence shows that risks to children are low and only those with a certain medical conditions are likely to be advised to shield if shielding needs to be reintroduced in the future.
Can my child return to school/nursery?
Children should continue to shield until 31 July. From 1 August, following the pausing of guidance, children will be able to return to school or nursey in line with their peers and school terms.
Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) guidance: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/covid-19-shielding-guidance-children-young-people#introduction
Education guidance: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare
Mental health and wellbeing advice: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/