How our service is operating during the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In response to COVID-19, the way we provide our service has changed but don’t worry; we are still here if you need us.
We still really want to hear from you if you need our help or are feeling worried about anything. You can find your local duty line here Health Visiting Service.
We can offer advice over the phone, or arrange for video conferencing so that we can see you and your baby/child. If after speaking to you we think that it is important that we see you face-to-face, we will arrange this. Staff will wear full PPE and ask that family members and any children over the age of three wear a mask if they are able to do so for any face-to-face contacts.
We will phone before we visit to check everyone in the family is well. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, or you are self isolating, we will offer a virtual review and book follow ups after your isolation period.
You can find lots of useful guidance and advice in the ‘Birth to Five’ book. Our health visiting service has also put together some useful information for parents in our frequently asked questions section below.
- Health Visiting Service
- COVID-19 advice
- Emotional health
- Domestic abuse
- Potty training
- Immunisations and vaccines
- Introducing solids
- Ailments and illnesses
- Child development
- Healthy lifestyle
Due to the current Coronavirus, (COVID-19) outbreak we have had to make some changes to the way we work. Don’t worry; you are not alone, we will still be here if you need us.
Just call our duty line and you can speak to a health visitor who can provide advice and support. We still really want to hear from you if you need our help or are feeling worried about anything.
You can find your local duty line here Health Visiting Service.
Please find a range of resources to support you and your family in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Many women find it hard to talk about any negative feelings after having a baby because they feel under pressure to be happy. Remember that you're not alone if you are feeling low or anxious and support is available to you.
Domestic abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members. Domestic violence can happen to anyone. If you feel uncomfortable, pressurised, threatened or have been attacked don't wait, ask for help now.
You can find more information about local support for domestic abuse at domesticabuseservices.org.uk.
Children and young people can call ChildLine 24/7. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and confidential. You can also get information at Childline online.
Women can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247), and men the Mens' Advice Line (0808 8010327) for free at any time, day or night.
They will offer confidential, non-judgemental information and support.
You can also speak to Kent Police on the non-emergency telephone number 101, but if you are at immediate risk then please call 999.
You can also call your local health visiting team for support.
Find all the information on your rights and benefits.
Most feeding problems can be solved with some support and reassurance.
Constipation is common in childhood, particularly when children are being potty trained at around 2 to 3 years old.
Using a potty is a new skill for your child to learn. It's best to take it slowly and go at your child's pace. Being patient with them will help them get it right, even if you sometimes feel frustrated.
Children are able to control their bladder and bowels when they're physically ready and when they want to be dry and clean. Every child is different, so it's best not to compare your child with others.
Some babies sleep much more than others. Some sleep for long periods, others in short bursts. Some soon sleep through the night, while some don't for a long time.
Your baby will have their own pattern of waking and sleeping, and it's unlikely to be the same as other babies you know.
One of the best ways to protect your baby against diseases like measles, rubella, tetanus and meningitis is through immunisation. Just to reassure you that despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is still recommended that your child receives their routine vaccinations at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 13 months, as this protects them against other serious diseases that can still cause them harm. Start4Life has a full list of the all the vaccinations you baby is entitled to and the diseases they will be protected against.
The Institute of Health Visiting has a great resource for parents with explanations of how vaccines work, how they are regulated and why it is important to ensure your baby receives all the recommended immunisations.
If you are feeling particularly anxious, please speak to your local health visitor of have a look at some frequently asked questions on vaccines including knowing what to expect on the day and being aware of common side effects, which can help to put your mind at rest. You can also have a look at how local surgeries are taking additional precautions to maintain a safe environment for everyone here.
The NHS website has some useful appointment tips that may help your child's vaccination appointment go smoothly.
It can be difficult to tell when a baby or toddler is seriously ill, but the main thing is to trust your instincts.
You know better than anyone else what your child is usually like, so you'll know when something is seriously wrong.
Remember that all babies are unique and will develop at different rates without anything for their parents to worry about. There is lots of useful information on development in your child’s red book. If you are worried at any time, please call your local health visiting duty line and a member of the team will listen and talk through your concerns and explore with you what support your child might need.
Kent County Council has developed a resource ‘Explore Your Options’ for those parents and carers who think their child might have special educational needs and what will happen next.
By answering a few questions parents and carers can get recommendations about the next steps they can take, who to talk to and where they can find out information and get advice about what support may be available for their child.