Most vulnerable children and young people can safely stop shielding, say medical experts
Doctors in Harrow are reassuring local families that it is now safe for most ‘clinically vulnerable’ children and young people to stop shielding.
The decision to review the list of shielded patients is backed by clinical evidence from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
The Royal College found that risk of serious illness from coronavirus for children and young people is low and only those with the most severe conditions need to carry on shielding, such as children or young people receiving cancer care or those at risk of severe infection due to an immunodeficiency.
Hospital specialists and GPs have been asked to contact families over the summer to review whether or not they need to remain on the shielded patient list.
If you haven’t been contacted, you are advised to contact your GP or the clinician you work with most often (such as the hospital team if your child receives regular care from a specialist hospital) for advice.
Dr Mohini Parmar (primary care clinical lead, NHS North West London Integrated Care System) said: “As important as it is to protect children from the virus, we know that not only do children generally have much milder symptoms of coronavirus, but also that unnecessary shielding can have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing.
“If you’re unsure, speak to your doctor or hospital team. Your doctors will only advise you that your child can stop shielding if it is safe to do so.”
Dr Jenny Harries (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) said: “As our understanding of this novel virus has developed, evidence shows most children and young people are at low risk of serious illness and will no longer be advised to shield after July.”
Dr Mike Linney (Registrar at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health or RCPCH), said: “Lockdown has been tough on children generally, but especially for those who have been shielding. It’s been a long haul for thousands of families, and we hope this announcement brings some relief.”