A Laois doctor has called on parents not to dose their children with paracetamol or ibuprofen and send them to school if they feel their child is unwell.
Dr Sumi Dunne, who is from Portarlington, made the call at last night’s Department of Health briefing on the week that all Irish children return to school.
Dr Dunne says that everyone needs to work together to keep schools and creches open. She also said that looking out for a temperature or a new cough are two of the main signs that your child may be more seriously ill than is normally the case.
She said: “We all need to work together around this.
“We are urging parents that if you feel your child unwell – particularly if they suddenly develop a high temperature or a new cough – please keep them at home.
“Don’t dose them with paracetamol or ibuprofen and send them to school.
“On the other side, we know that some children have persistent runny noses and that can last for a prolonged period of time.
“If your child is otherwise well and does not have a temperature, there is no reason that they can attend school or crèche.
“It is important that we all work together to get this messaging through that we want to keep our schools and creches open.
“GPs are here to give advice and there are robust trusted sources like the HSE. Don’t hesitate.”
In an open letter to parents, guardians, teachers and school staff, the country’s acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said he was “very aware” of their worries.
He said their concern was natural and to be fully expected given the challenges posed by Covid-19, but he added that the decision to reopen the schools had not been taken lightly.
“If all of us continue to make small changes to the way we live, we can – together – starve this virus of opportunities to transmit,” Dr Glynn wrote.
“While it is okay to send your child to school or childcare if they only have a runny nose or a sneeze, if you have any concerns that your child has symptoms of Covid-19 – fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell – then please keep them at home until you have spoken with your GP by phone.”