As a parent, you cannot imagine that you will get seriously ill with Covid-19 and that you will no longer be able to look after your children. If the respiratory disease becomes severe, it may even have to be treated in hospital. This poses a significant challenge for families with children. As experts in children’s rights and child protection in Germany and worldwide, we have put together recommendations for such an exceptional situation.
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Think About The Emergency Early On
If a single parent or both guardians are so seriously ill that they have to be treated as an inpatient, families are particularly hard hit. In the beginning, the disease course cannot be foreseen, the symptoms can intensify, and the options for action can suddenly be impaired. Therefore, anyone infected with the coronavirus should think as early as possible about how their children can be cared for in an emergency.
A tip: Write down your thoughts and inquiries. So you always have an overview.
- Assume that your child is also infected.
- If possible, have it tested.
- Call the doctor first before visiting the practice.
Many cities and communities have also switched info telephones. The numbers are easy to find on the Internet.
Who Can Look After My Child?
If your child is not infected or has recovered and is therefore likely immune to the coronavirus, try to organize care. If your child needs care around the clock, older siblings may be able to step in. Or you can ask relatives, friends, or neighbors to look after your child in your own home while you are in the hospital.
If your child’s age and level of development can be alone during the day and night, you can ask people around you for regular visits and household support. If this is not possible, you may be entitled to domestic help according to the Social Security Code. Discuss this with your health insurance company.
In any case, keep in mind that you will usually not be available at all times in the hospital. Ensure that your child has someone they trust who will contact you regularly and who can be reached by your child day and night.
What Do I Do If My Child Is Infected?
If your child is possible or has been proven to be sick with Covid-19, it will be quarantined by the health department. Ask relatives and friends for help, provided they do not belong to high-risk groups. The grandparents are primarily out of the question: According to the Robert Koch Institute, people over 50 are already at risk. Perhaps someone around you has recovered from the illness and is ready to look after your child. It is best to seek advice from your health department.
If your child is older and can remain alone despite the quarantine, ask for support from those around you. People close to you can be ready to do the laundry or put food outside the door. If this is not possible, you can have the health insurance company check whether your child can be supported by domestic help; of course, in compliance with the quarantine regulations.
Also Read: Coronavirus: Tips For Care And Time At Home
Ask The Youth Welfare Office For Help
If you are unable to organize childcare, please get in touch with your local youth welfare office. The staff will advise you, and it will be checked what options there are and whether you can be granted support services to care for your child in emergencies.
Please Always Observe All Official Regulations
These can vary from region to region. Please note that your situation is an individual case and will be decided accordingly, depending on the local conditions.