COVID Advisory: Ensuring children are cared for, in our absence

Children and COVID-19

1098 helpline gets thousands of calls on vulnerable children in Bengaluru every year. Representational image: 'DD' Grace Madigan

Coronavirus is devastating and many families have lost multiple members due to the infection. We are seeing many young people losing lives. We have a recommendation for parents with young children.

Please make a plan for your child/children if and when you fall sick. Identify family or friends in the community, or in the city, who will take care of them, even if your child is suspected to have COVID and needs care-taking. That means that the care-giver should not have elderly parents or co-morbidities which would not allow them to offer this support. Tough as it may be, do have a conversation with family / friends. Have a back-up plan as well.

Read More: How to keep your children safe in the times of COVID-19 

If your only option is someone who is out of the state, please contact them and let them know that they will need to come to Bengaluru at a moment’s notice if need be.

Make a plan

Write down the details of your plan and back up plan. Email it to your identified care-giver and family.

Keep it in a place that will be easily accessible in case of an emergency.

This plan should have all information that the identified care-giver should know about your children. Make an information packet that contains the following details of your child:

  • Allergies or Medication
  • Contacts of Paediatrician and Doctor
  • School information as needed
  • Likes / Dislikes
  • Contact details of relatives
  • Any other relevant information or guidelines that will be helpful to guide the care-giver

To go a step further, it is better to leave the child/children prepared as much as possible. Do prepare an emergency folder with the following details:

  • Your will
  • Insurance documents, with clear instructions
  • Information about bank accounts, FD’s etc
  • Contact details of financial planner, if available

More details can be had from Srini Swaminathan’s post on Twitter:

Having this information handy will go a long way in reducing the stress and strain on your children as well as the care-giver.

We are bringing this to your attention as this scenario is actually happening in Bengaluru and across the country. Many children are being left alone at home, with no one to care for them as parents are in hospital and the children are suspected to have COVID themselves. Some children, tragically, have been orphaned too. The Child Helpline in Bengaluru is 1098.

Read More: All about Childline 1098: How it helps children in distress

MAKE A PLAN for your children. Share it with the identified care-giver and back-up option.

People looking to help in such situations:

  • Try to contact family.
  • Or else, contact 1098, the child Helpline. They will connect you to Child Protection Services and advice on the next steps.
Representational Image. Pic Courtesy: Ranga Shankara

Nodal officer for child care

In fact, the state government has appointed the Inspector General of Registrations and Commissioner of Stamps, K. P. Mohan Raj (IAS), as the nodal officer for identifying children who are orphaned due to COVID-19 and ensure necessary support and facilities for them and also make long-term arrangements for their care and well-being.

We pray that you all are safe, and continue to be safe.

Also Read:

[This is based on an advisory put out by Whitefield Rising]

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About Zibi Jamal 2 Articles
Zibi Jamal is a communications consultant and a member of the citizens’ movement Whitefield Rising