COVID-19 is impacting our services - but we are still here for you, New Zealand. Together, we will get through this.
I hope you and your whānau are doing okay, as we enter into day two of our nation-wide lockdown. As promised I wanted to keep you all updated on what Plunket’s doing to ensure we can continue to protect you and your whānau during this time.
The move to alert level 4 has meant that we have had to suspend all of our usual face-to-face services - but we've been working hard to innovate and offer alternative ways to support our Kiwi whānau.
Our absolute priority is to ensure that we are still there providing support – we have been contacting clients by phone instead and this has been working well.
Next week we are hoping to put a bit more structure around this new way of supporting you and I will be in touch again about that soon. In the meantime our team has been working on developing a number resources you might be interested in using with your whānau and families as you remain in isolation.
Please visit this page for more information, as we plan to update this as often as we can. We have also done a number of Facebook Live chats, and also plan to do another on Wednesday at 1pm with one of our national coordinators around fun things to do while stuck in isolation, keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details.
While the situation in New Zealand evolves, I want to reassure you all that our local teams are still and always will be there for you, so please don’t hesitate to give your Plunket nurse a call or a text if you need support. We also have our friendly PlunketLine team available 24/7 on 0800 933 922.
Our goal is simple: to continue to offer support that helps and empowers you. Together, we will get through this New Zealand.
Ngā mihi nui,
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.
30 Days of Play - Our 30 Days of Play offers some great ideas to help develop young minds and keep children learning during this time.
Facebook Live Chat: Happy Chaos - A chat about how to embrace and have fun with our little ones, as well as the importance of self-care and self-compassion.
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.