Infectious diseases messages for schools and childcare settings
Please see below information regarding acute Hepatitis in children and free posters for managing cases of infectious diseases.
Acute Hepatitis in Children
Nationally an increase in acute hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver, is being seen in young children, particularly in 1-5 year-olds. This is being investigated by UK HSA who to date have found that the most common infection seen in those that have become unwell so far is adenovirus. This is a common virus that causes two main types of mild illness in the main in children, an upper respiratory tract infection with symptoms a bit like Covid, or a gastroenteritis type illness, with diarrhoea and tummy-bug like symptoms.
UK HSA are encouraging parents and carers to be on the lookout for symptoms of hepatitis (yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark wee, pale/grey-coloured poo) and to call 111 or their GP immediately if they have any concerns. The best way to minimise the spread of the respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses is to wash hand regularly, keep indoor spaces well ventilated and to supervise thorough handwashing in younger children. When a child is unwell with gastroenteritis or a viral illness, make sure to keep them well hydrated and minimise contact with others.
Hepatitis symptoms include:
- yellowing of the white part of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
- dark urine
- pale, grey-coloured faeces (poo)
- itchy skin
- muscle and joint pain
- a high temperature
- feeling and being sick
- feeling unusually tired all the time
- loss of appetite
- tummy pain
What to do if you are concerned about a child’s symptoms – call 111, or contact your GP.
Free posters: Infectious diseases, education and childcare settings
A series of new posters are available to download and order free printed copies for schools and childcare settings. They include a QR code link to online guidance and provide a summary of the recommended exclusion periods for common (and thankfully less-common) childhood infectious diseases:
Infectious diseases: education and childcare settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
This poster includes exclusion periods: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1070910/UKHSA-should-I-keep-my_child_off_school_guidance-A3-poster.pdf