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Explaining Covid-19 to children
For helpful storyboards with pictures and words to explain Coronavirus to children click here

Working from home with young children

This might mean you have to split your attention between laptops and toddlers.  Keeping them safe from accidents while you work is vital not only for their safety but to avoid a preventable trip to A&E.  Click below for a checklist to childproof your home.

Staying safe online and social media

If your children are spending more time online while staying home, ensure they are safe.  Here’s some advice on how to protect them.
For older children who use apps and social media to stay connected to friends it’s wise to help them spot fake news that might add to any feelings of anxiety about Covid-19.  It’s vital that young adults understand the importance of not perpetuating misinformation by not sharing things from sources that can’t be trusted.  Click here for information on spotting fake news for young people.

Click here for an emoji quiz on fact or fiction on Covid-19

Food and Healthy Eating

If you would usually qualify for free school meals your school will have options to obtain meals, either through collecting food packages at lunchtime, or by vouchers.  Contact your school if you are unsure how to get food, and if you are eligible but do not wish to use this let them know.

Healthy Start Vouchers

Some families are eligible for Healthy Start vouchers for fresh milk, fruit and vegetables.  The process for this has been changed in response to Covid-19.  Check to see if you are eligible and apply here.  Healthy start vouchers can be swapped for healthy start vitamins in the case of pregnant or breastfeeding mums.

Children are more likely to try something new if they’ve been involved in preparing the meal.  For healthy recipes to cook with kids click here.  Boredom may also lead to extra snacking so check out some healthy swaps.
For more inspiration the Children’s Nutrition Team will also be posting recipes on their Twitter page regularly @NHSTamesideCNT


Breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies developing infectious diseases.  If you are infected with Covid-19, there is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breastmilk.   Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk or by being in close contact with your child, however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone.   For more support on breastfeeding contact Homestart  Breastfeeding Peer Support Service duty number on 07802 883947 or the National Breastfeeding Network on 0300 100 0212.

Formula Feeding

As with other food there is plenty of formula to go round.  You can do your bit to help by only buying what you need.  If you are not able to buy your usual make the LaLeche League has issued advice on how to get by until you can.

And follow the Health Visiting Service on Facebook


If you are pregnant there is additional advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians.  Attending antenatal and postnatal care when you are pregnant and have a new baby is essential to ensure the wellbeing of you and your baby.  If you are well you should attend antenatal care as normal.  If you have symptoms of possible coronavirus infection you should postpone routine visits until after the isolation period is over.  Further information is available here

Being Active

Children staying home may be less active than they were when walking and cycling to school or playing out with friends.  There’s lots of inspiration online to get active as a family.  Aim for children under the age of 18 to be active for an hour a day.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s indoors or outdoors, as long as they get their heart rate up and get a bit sweaty.  Click here for useful videos.
Or for ten minute games with your kids’ favourite Disney characters look here.

Coping with Stress

Young children will have a limited understanding of the current situation but they will notice changes in routine.  They will start to miss grandparents, family and friends from nursery and preschool in due course, and this may lead to stress.  It's important that we help young children cope by giving them clear explanations of changes and what to expect, as well as reassurance that they are going to be ok.  Click the link for advice from the World Health Organisation on how to help children cope with stress during Covid-19.

Education and Development

Click here to for further practical/educational resources for parents