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Coronavirus and your family

You’re not alone if you’re worried about coronavirus (COVID-19). Here at Parent Club we’ve put together some information on how to protect yourself, your family and others.

You can find the latest updates on the NHS Inform website

How can I protect myself and other people?

Anyone can spread coronavirus. To save lives, you must now stay at home.  

This means that you should only be leaving your home if you have to, for example, to buy food, for childhood vaccinations, to attend urgent medical appointments or collect prescriptions or to care for a vulnerable person. As a family, you can also leave your home to exercise once a day.

If you do leave your home, avoid public transport if possible and stay at least 2 metres away from other people - that's slightly more than the width of a car. This will mean you will be less likely to catch or spread the virus when you are out and about. If you or anyone in your household has any symptoms, you must not leave your home.

If we all follow these rules, however difficult, then fewer people will die of this virus than would otherwise be the case. It’s not going to be forever, but we need your help now.

It is also important that you:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
  • Catch your cough or sneeze in tissue, bin it, then wash your hands

However hard we try to stop them, kids always end up sticking their fingers in their mouths and up their noses. Each time they do this, try to get them to wash their hands and wipe down any surfaces. 

If you're out of the house, try and keep their hands away from their faces as best as you can. It might help to get them to wear gloves, as they’re less likely to put their fingers in their mouths. 

While we can’t expect you to give up on cuddles, you can have fun coming up with new ways of showing love other than kisses and cuddles - how about rubbing elbows or a wee dance? Get them to make up their own secret family greetings which they can teach you.

It’s not just kids who can transfer germs! There are things parents need to stop doing as well:

  • Sharing food – it’s probably not a great idea to eat up leftovers from their plates. Any food you would normally share from a bag, like popcorn, put in separate bowls.
  • Sucking a child’s dummy to clean it – you’ll need to clean it properly (and make sure you have spares).
  • Spitting on a tissue to clean your child’s face (we’ve all done it!)

How can I cope with staying at home?

For the next few weeks, staying at home will be the “new normal”. This will be difficult, but it’s vital that we all do it to save lives. To make it a little bit easier, we’ve put together some tips for keeping the kids busy, working from home and how to stay active as a family. We’ve also got lots of tips on how to keep calm if tempers start to fray!

Can I go outside if I have symptoms?

No. If you or anyone else in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, even if those symptoms are mild, you and everyone else you live with must not leave your home at all for 14 days. If you need something ask someone out with your household to get it for you or have it delivered and left at your front door.

If a household member develops coronavirus symptoms late in the 14-day household-isolation period (for example, on day 13 or day 14) the household isolation period does not need to be extended, but the person with the new symptoms has to stay at home for 7 days.

You can find all the information about what you need to do in the NHS Inform website here


How do I stay in contact with friends and family?

It’s understandable that you’ll be feeling lonely or worried. Keep in touch with friends and family on the phone or by video chat or even try sending cards, letters or pictures your wee one has drawn for them. It’s particularly important to check in regularly with older people and people who are more at risk of getting ill from the virus. If you’re not sure how to set up a video call, there’s a useful guide from the BBC here.

I’m pregnant – what should I do?

We realise this is a worrying time to be pregnant. You can find further advice at on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website.

What do I do about my child’s immunisations?

It’s still important to get your child’s immunisations as planned. Please visit NHS Inform for more information.

What if my partner or ex-partner and I both look after our children but live in separate homes?

If you and your partner live in separate homes but take turns to look after your children, you can continue to do this. If there is a court order or formal agreement in place, you should try to stick to the arrangements it sets out. The Lord President has now issued guidance on compliance with court orders. This is available here.

If you have a more informal arrangement with your partner or ex-partner, you’ll need to discuss what’s best for your kids. When you’re travelling between homes, try to avoid public transport if you can and stay 2 metres away from other people. If it's not possible to keep face to face contact, for example if either household has symptoms, you should try and maintain regular contact virtually using for example FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype.

Where can I go for information and help?

The Scottish Government are unable to provide individual advice. Most organisations are still offering support over the phone, by email or information is available on their websites.

ClanChildlaw can provide free advice on children’s rights and the law. Their phone number is 0808 129 0522.

Parentline Scotland provides advice to families. Further information is available on their website.

If you have concerns about domestic abuse, please contact the Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline which is 0800 027 1234. Webchat and email support is also available.

The Scottish Child Law Centre also provides advice and information about children’s rights and child law. Please email if you have any queries. If you are a child or young person under the age of 21 there is a helpline – free from a mobile 0300 330 1421 or from a landline 0800 328 8970.

You may want to speak to Shared Parenting Scotland. Their phone number is 0131 557 2440.

If you have an ongoing court case you can find up-to-date information on the Scottish Courts & Tribunals website about court closures and court business generally.

Looking after yourself

These are all dramatic changes that we’re having to make, but it’s important to follow these guidelines so you can help protect your family’s health and the health of your community.

You can find advice on the Mind website about coronavirus and your wellbeing.

Information in BSL

You can find information on corovonavirus in British Sign Language (BSL) on the ParentZone Scotland website.

Supporting children with additional support needs

You can find advice on supporting children with additional support needs on the ParentZone Scotland website.