Coronavirus guidance issued to parents and carers

Parents and carers of children in Leeds are being offered guidance on what to do if their child falls ill and they suspect it could be due to coronavirus, so they can access the right support at the right time

The guidance comes from Leeds City Council and the NHS in Leeds.

Cllr Jonathan Pryor, executive member for learning, skills and employment at Leeds City Council said:

“Schools and learning settings often see an increase in coughs and sneezes amongst children and young people in the autumn. Clearly there is an additional concern this year due to the similarity of the symptoms of the common cold with Covid-19. This guide has been produced to support parents and carers to identify when their child should be kept off school and if they need to self-isolate and get a test for coronavirus.”

Dr Helen Haywood, GP and clinical lead for children and young people at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“We know there’s a lot of health information circulating at the moment, and this can be confusing, but we want to ensure that parents and carers know what to do if their child has fallen ill. If your child has a fever measuring 37.8C, a new persistent cough or a change or loss of sense of smell or taste this is a good indication of coronavirus being present. Children must stay off school and access a test by going online or calling 119.

“However, if your child has a runny nose or a sore throat, this is much more likely to be a common cold. In those cases, please do not get a test. It should be remembered that in the overwhelming majority of children, covid-19 is a mild illness. However, it’s really important to keep them at home if they coronavirus symptoms, to limit the spread of the illness to people who are at greater risk from it.

“It’s also important to remember that children and babies will still get other illnesses that can make them very unwell quickly and you must get medical advice if concerned, especially if a young baby of 3-6 months old has a temperature of 38C or above.”

If children have any of the following symptoms, they may have coronavirus:

  • fever measuring 37.8C or above
  • a new persistent cough
  • a change or loss of sense of smell or taste

In these circumstances, children shouldn’t attend school for 10 days, or until a negative swab test result is received. Members of the household should self-isolate for 14 days.

Please note that these tests are provided through the NHS Test and Trace service and can be accessed either:

If the test comes back negative, the child can return to school provided they have been fever free for 48 hours and feel well.

If the test comes back positive the child shouldn’t attend school and inform the school immediately of the test results.

The child can return to school after 10 days, once the child feels better, and has been fever-free for at least 48 hours.

The following information explains  when your child should stay off school and when they can return if they or anyone else in the household is affected by coronavirus:

You can also download the guidance in visual form (below) by clicking here.


This post is based a press release issued jointly by Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds