Dr Hilary Jones issues vital coronavirus advice to parents if their kids have a cough

18 September 2020, 10:43 | Updated: 18 September 2020, 10:44

The GMB doctor has urged parents to think before getting a coronavirus test for their kids amid a shortage.

Dr Hilary Jones has issued advice to parents of children with a cough, warning them that they may not need to be taken out of school or given a test.

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The Good Morning Britain doctor today said that children who have the virus often don't have a cough, and advised parents not to look out for other symptoms if their child has a cough or runny nose.

When asked by host Alex Beresford whether parents should keep their kids at home if they have a cold, Dr Hilary said that parents should look out for other symptoms, as kids cough "all the time".

Dr Hilary urged parents to look out for other symptoms in kids with coughs and colds (stock image)
Dr Hilary urged parents to look out for other symptoms in kids with coughs and colds (stock image). Picture: Getty

He added: "There is no doubt lots of children being sent home with coughs, which are clearly not associated with Covid.

"The guidance is that typical symptoms of Covid is a dry, new continuous cough. All children cough.

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"Any parent knows they cough all the time, when they have a drink, if they get dust in their airways, if they have a runny nose or sniffles and mucus runs down the back of their throat, they cough if they have allergies.

"They cough all the time, you can't send every child home who has a cough that is not continuous.

Dr Hilary has issued important advice for parents
Dr Hilary has issued important advice for parents. Picture: ITV

He continued: "What we mean by a continuous cough is a cough that lasts for perhaps several minutes, and three or four times a day during a 24-hour period, or a cough every couple of minutes in an hour.

"So a completely new and different cough to what you normally have.

"What we do know is in children, symptoms are somewhat different to that in adults so if they also have a fever that would be more significant, if they have also had a loss in taste or smell that would be more significant."

He also said that - according to the NHS symptoms tracker app - kids often don't get coughs as a coronavirus symptom, adding: "They discovered children don't often get the cough, they might get a rash or might be feeling a loss of appetite, they might be feeling fatigued, so these are important symptoms in children as well.

"If my child is running around, eating normally, and has no headache, or has an occasional little cough, I wouldn't be rushing to get a test right now, especially when you can't get hold of them.

"They should be prioritised for people who actually need them."

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