COVID-19: Advice for chronically ill children

As a parent of a chronically-ill child, it can be hard to know what to do amidst the current COVID-19 outbreak. There is an overwhelming amount of information to take in but these are the key things you need to know:

Generally, children aren’t as affected by COVID-19. Children have much milder symptoms than adults and a much smaller proportion need significant care. This is consistent with international experience from China, where the outbreak was severe.   

Children with chronic health conditions are often more susceptible to infections although it is not clear if it is the case with this virus. This is why taking extra precautions is necessary.

Families of children who are considered of being at a higher risk (i.e. those with cancer, respiratory illnesses, kidney failure, suppressed immune systems etc) should continue actively practising good hand hygiene, coughing/sneezing etiquette and social distancing, and engaging children in this process. They should also minimise unnecessary public exposure where possible. Further advice specific to their child/condition can be obtained from their healthcare team.

It is important to note that this situation is constantly evolving and advice may change but the overall risk to children is low. If parents have further concerns, they are encouraged to speak with their GP or their healthcare team.

Read more COVID-19: what you need to know on our website and stay up-to-date on the latest, including schools advice, by visiting NSW Health.