‘Don’t rush outside to play with your friends’ – health chief’s advice to children after changes to shielding

Shetland’s health chief has advised parents of children who are shielding to seek advice from a doctor before allowing their child back outside again. 

Michael Dickson said that although the Scottish government’s advice had changed about shielding young people “it doesn’t mean they can rush outside to play with their friends”.

New government advice published yesterday stated that there was now “strong evidence” suggesting many children and young people do not need to shield. 

In general, children and young people have a much lower risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

Mr Dickson said there were some Shetland children with underlying health conditions who have been
shielding since the start of the pandemic.

He said they will be  happy to hear that the guidance on what they can do has changed.

However, he said that rather than rushing outside, they should have their situation reviewed by a doctor, which is also the government’s recommendation. 

“I know that bringing a vulnerable child out of shielding is a big decision for parents, but if you have a child who has been in this situation, you can have confidence in he guidance developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health,” he added. 

“This guidance is supported by the Scottish government and GPs have been informed that they can review the shielding position of children in their care.

This will be co-ordinated at a health board level and we expect then that a large majority of children will be reviewed by secondary care colleagues.

“Of course, there will be some who have to stay isolated for their own safety.

“To these children and your families, I wish you strength during this time. 

“It is very hard but this will pass and soon everyone will be back at school and playing in the parks again.”

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