COVID-19 is impacting our services - but we are still here for you, New Zealand. Together, we will get through this.
Kia ora koutou,
When we moved to Alert Level 2 I emailed to let you know that we would be taking a phased approach to the re-introduction of Plunket’s in-person services and opening our clinics. It was important to take the time to get things right and make sure we’re keeping all staff and whānau safe.
We have worked through our planning and can now update you on what this means for you and your tamariki over the coming weeks.
In-person visits and our clinics
We will be resuming some in-person visits from 27 May and starting to re-open our clinics for some Well Child appointments. We are in the process now of setting up our nearly 600 locations nationwide for re-opening, making sure we are meeting COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Clinics will be reopening as they become ready, and we will be updating our website regularly as this happens.
From this week, we will be contacting whānau to let them know how Plunket is resuming in-person Well Child services and when their next visit is. We will be prioritising services for whānau Māori and Pacific families and focusing first on those who need us the most – all whānau with a new-born tamariki in their first three months, and whānau we haven’t been able to reach during Alert Levels 3 & 4.
We’re still here for you – if you need extra support or advice during this time please contact your Plunket Nurse or give PlunketLine a call on 0800 933 922.
Our virtual services
During the lockdown period we increased our use of virtual tools such as Zoom and phone calls so we could stay in touch with families. Your feedback showed us that for many parents found this a useful service, offering additional flexbility, so we plan to continue to offer this as a channel for Well Child services where appropriate.
Non-Well Child services
For our non-Well Child services, such as playgroups, coffee groups, parenting education etc, they will continue to be delivered virtually for the time being. Contracted non-Well Child services will be managed according to our contractual requirements and teams will work through those directly with the contract funders.
I will continue to keep you updated on the re-introduction of our in-person services and we’ll also keep whānau updated through our website and social media channels.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
Fun activities to do at home
COVIBOOK - A free, printable and interactive book designed to help children understand what's happening, and for them to talk about how they're feeling.
Fun activities for whānau at home - A series of booklets full of fun activities for children aged six months to 10 years old.
Facebook Live Chat: Fun activities to do at home - A Live Chat about fun activities to keep your children entertained, educated and engaged.
Live Chat - Fun activities for the Whanau
Today we have National Coordinator Maire and she is going to talk about fun activities we can do with our little ones to keep them engaged and entertained. If you have any questions, pop them in the comments section below.Posted by Plunket New Zealand on Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which include the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
In January 2020, officials identified a new coronavirus called novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
Tens of thousands of people have been infected with COVID-19 since the outbreak began.
Health officials don't yet know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected. World Health Organization (WHO) assessments suggest that it is 2-10 days.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as the flu. Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that your child or you have coronavirus. Symptoms of the new virus include:
Difficulty breathing can be a sign of pneumonia. Urgently seek medical attention if your child (PlunketLine is available 24/7 on 0800 933 922) or member of your family is struggling to breathe.
Here’s a good resource on KidsHealth for ‘Signs that children are struggling to breathe’.
If you think that you or your child has COVID-19 or has been exposed, call Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 if you or your child has symptoms.
Droplet-spread diseases can be spread by:
That's why it's important for you and family members to regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds and thoroughly dry them, cover your mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing, or cough and sneeze into your elbow.
There are simple steps to take to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading through your family and community:
Read more about these at covid19.govt.nz.
Most people with this virus are not severely ill.
People of all ages are being infected, but older people and those with medical conditions seem most likely to get seriously ill.
If your child or you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453.
No, this is a new virus, so there is currently no vaccine to protect against this disease.
No, there’s no specific treatment for COVID-19, but medical care can treat most of the symptoms.
The Ministry of Health has produced an information sheet on how to support your child through self-isolation.
There is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk. Infection can be spread to your baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. When a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or talks, they may spread droplets containing the virus.
The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast milk or by being in close contact with your child, however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with whānau, midwife, well child nurse or family doctor by telephone or email.
If you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, take precautions to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 to your baby by:
If you are feeding with formula, sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share teats or bottles with someone else.
More information about cleaning and sterilising feeding equipment can be found on the HealthEd website.
It’s very normal to feel worried, especially in such uncertain times. We recommend staying in touch with friends and family, and trying to stay positive and have fun with your children while we're in lockdown.
Remember that physical distancing doesn't mean stopping your social connection. It just means doing it in different ways - like text or video chat.
If you are worried about your child, please give Plunket’s lovely registered nurses a call on 0800 933 922.
PlunketLine is a free, 24/7 service and we’re here to support you with kindness and specialist advice you can trust.