If you or someone in your household has Covid-19, you may be wondering what to do about your child’s education. Can a child go to school when a parent is self-isolating? What if they have Covid-19 themselves? How can you keep them and others safe from the virus?
In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will explain what self-isolation means and why it is important to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We will also look at the current situation of Covid-19 in Australia and the rules on self-isolation and testing. Finally, we will provide some tips and resources to help you and your child cope with this challenging situation.
Can a child go to school when a parent is self-isolating?
Let’s start with the most obvious question: can kids go to school with Covid? The answer is no. Can a child go to school when a parent is self-isolating? Any child with symptoms or a positive test result must not attend school and should self-isolate at home instead.
This is because they are likely to be infectious and could pass on the virus to other children, teachers and staff at school. They could also bring the virus back home and infect their family members or other people they live with.
So, what should you do if your child has Covid-19 or suspects they have it? Here are the steps to follow:
- Get your child tested as soon as possible. You can order a free PCR test online or by calling 1800 020 080. You can also get a free rapid antigen test from a pharmacy or a test site.
- Keep your child at home and isolate them from others in your household as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom if you can. Don’t share personal items like cups, towels or utensils. Improve ventilation in your home by opening windows or doors.
- Monitor your child’s symptoms and seek medical help if they get worse or have trouble breathing. Call 000 or use the healthdirect online service for advice. In an emergency, call 000.
- Wait for your child’s test result. If it is positive, they should isolate for at least 7 days from when they first had symptoms or from when they were tested if they had no symptoms.
- After 7 days, your child should do a rapid antigen test on days 7 and 8. If both tests are negative, they can return to school. If either test is positive, they should continue to isolate and test until they get two negative tests in a row.
The bottom line is: if your child has Covid-19, keep them at home and away from others until they are no longer infectious. This is the best way to protect them and everyone else from the virus.
Can my child go to school if I have Covid?
Now, what if you have Covid-19 but your child doesn’t? Can a child go to school when a parent is self-isolating? The answer is yes. Children who do not have Covid-19 can still go to school even if a parent is positive, as long as they are testing negative and have no symptoms.
This is because the risk of transmission from a parent to a child is low, especially if you take precautions to reduce contact with your child and prevent the spread of Covid in your household.
However, this does not mean that you can relax and ignore the public health advice. You still need to follow these tips:
- Do not take your child to school yourself. Ask someone else who is not self-isolating to drop them off and pick them up. Or let them walk, cycle or use public transport if it is safe and appropriate.
- Wear a mask if you have to be around your child at home or in public. Do not go places where you cannot wear a mask, such as shops, restaurants or cinemas.
- Stay in a separate room from your child as much as possible. If you have to share a room, keep at least 1.5 metres apart and wear masks.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitiser. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of used tissues in a bin with a lid.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, such as door handles, light switches, countertops or keyboards.
- Check your child’s temperature every day and look out for any signs of Covid-19, such as a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of taste or smell. If your child develops any symptoms or tests positive, keep them at home and follow the steps above.
The bottom line is: you can send your child to school if you have Covid-19 but they don’t, as long as they are testing negative and have no symptoms. However, you should minimise contact with your child and take steps to prevent the spread of Covid in your household.
Can toddlers go to nursery if a parent is self-isolating?
What about toddlers who go to nursery or preschool? Can a child go to school when a parent is self-isolating? The answer is yes. Toddlers can still go to nursery if a parent is self-isolating, as long as they are not showing any Covid-19 symptoms.
This is because toddlers are less likely to catch or transmit the virus than older children or adults. They are also less likely to develop severe illness or complications from Covid-19.
However, this does not mean that you can forget about the safety measures that apply to older children. You still need to follow these tips:
- Do not take your toddler to nursery yourself. Ask someone else who is not self-isolating to drop them off and pick them up.
- Make sure your toddler wears a mask if they are aged 2 or over and can tolerate it. Masks are not recommended for children under 2 or those who have trouble breathing, swallowing or communicating.
- Teach your toddler to wash their hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser. Help them to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their elbow when they cough or sneeze. Throw away used tissues in a bin with a lid.
- Keep an eye on your toddler’s health and behaviour. Look out for any signs of Covid-19, such as a fever, a cough, a runny nose, a sore throat, a headache, a rash or diarrhoea. If your toddler has any symptoms or tests positive, keep them at home and follow the steps above.
The bottom line is: you can send your toddler to nursery if you are self-isolating but they are not, as long as they have no symptoms of Covid-19. However, you should not take them yourself and teach them to practise good hygiene and wear a mask if possible.
We hope this article has answered your questions about whether your child can go to school when a parent is self-isolating. The main points to remember are:
- If your child has Covid-19, they must stay at home and isolate from others until they are no longer infectious. They should get tested, isolate for at least 7 days and only return to school after two negative rapid antigen tests.
- If you have Covid-19 but your child doesn’t, they can still go to school as long as they are testing negative and have no symptoms. However, you should minimise contact with them and take steps to prevent the spread of Covid in your household.
- If your toddler goes to nursery, they can still go if you are self-isolating but they are not, as long as they have no symptoms of Covid-19. However, you should not take them yourself and teach them to practise good hygiene and wear a mask if possible.
We know that this is a difficult time for parents and children alike. Covid-19 has disrupted our lives in many ways and caused a lot of stress and anxiety. That’s why it is important to follow the public health advice and take precautions to protect yourself and others from the virus.
If you need more information on Covid-19, self-isolation and testing, you can visit these websites:
- Healthdirect: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus
- Australian Government: https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19
- Your state or territory health department: https://www.health.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/local-state-and-territory-health-departments
You can also call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 if you need support or information. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We hope you and your child stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. Thank you for reading this article.
Here are some common questions and answers related to the topic:
Q: How long does self-isolation last for Covid-19?
A: Self-isolation lasts for at least 7 days from when you first had symptoms or from when you were tested if you had no symptoms. After 7 days, you should do a rapid antigen test on days 7 and 8. If both tests are negative, you can end your isolation. If either test is positive, you should continue to isolate and test until you get two negative tests in a row.
Q: What are the symptoms of Covid-19 in children?
A: The main symptoms of Covid-19 in children are the same as in adults: a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of taste or smell. Some children may also have other symptoms, such as a runny nose, a sore throat, a headache, a rash or diarrhoea.
Q: What are rapid antigen tests and how do they work?
A: Rapid antigen tests are quick tests that can detect Covid-19 in people who do not have symptoms. They are easy to use and give results in 15 minutes or less. They work by detecting a protein called antigen that is produced by the virus. You can get free rapid antigen tests from a pharmacy or a test site, or order them online or by calling 1800 020 080.
Q: How can I support my child’s learning at home if they have to self-isolate?
A: If your child has to self-isolate, you can help them to continue their learning at home by following these tips:
- Contact your child’s school and ask for their remote learning plan. This may include online lessons, assignments, feedback and support from teachers and peers.
- Set up a routine and a space for your child to study at home. Try to follow their normal school timetable as much as possible. Make sure they have a comfortable, quiet and well-lit place to work, with access to a device, internet connection and any materials they need.
- Encourage your child to stay in touch with their teachers and classmates. This can help them to feel connected, motivated and supported. They can use email, phone calls, video calls or online platforms to communicate and collaborate.
- Support your child’s wellbeing and mental health. Check in with them regularly and listen to their feelings and concerns. Praise their efforts and achievements. Help them to cope with stress and anxiety by doing relaxing activities together, such as reading, playing games or meditating.
- Balance your child’s learning with fun and leisure. Make sure they have enough time for rest, exercise and hobbies. Enjoy some quality family time and do things that make you happy.
Q: What are the benefits of vaccination for children and parents?
A: Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent Covid-19 and its complications. It can protect you and your child from getting sick or seriously ill from the virus. It can also reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others who may be more vulnerable.
The Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children aged 12 and over. It has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration after rigorous trials and reviews. The vaccine is given as two doses, with an interval of at least 8 weeks between them.
The Covid-19 vaccine is also recommended for parents and other adults who live with or care for children. This can help to create a protective circle around your child and reduce their exposure to the virus.
You can book your Covid-19 vaccine online or by calling 1800 020 080. You can also walk in to a vaccination clinic without an appointment. For more information on Covid-19 vaccination.