There is currently no specific information about the impact COVID-19 may have on the health of children with cancer.
However, children with a compromised immune system are potentially more at risk of developing a serious infection from COVID-19. (See Immunosuppressed or immunocompromised below)
Our current advice is to follow the recommended infection prevention guidelines (outlined above) to protect your child’s health.
My child is currently receiving treatment for cancer – are they at an increased risk of getting COVID-19?
If your child is currently receiving oncology treatment and they are immunocompromised, they are potentially more at risk of developing a serious infection from COVID-19.
Current evidence shows that children receiving chemotherapy do not experience life-threatening complications from other respiratory viruses such as influenza (the flu). It is hoped that this will also be the case with COVID-19 but there is not enough information available at this stage to be certain of any risk. Until more is known about COVID-19, It is important to follow the recommended infection prevention guidelines (outlined above) to protect your child’s health.
Speak to your child’s oncologist about the best plan for your child over the coming months.
My child has completed their cancer treatment. Are they at increased risk?
Most children with cancer who have completed their planned treatment should have a relatively normal immune system within two to three months of completing therapy and are unlikely to be at increased risk of severe infection. No further special precautions are advised for these children at this stage.
Is it safe for my child to return to school?
On 8 May 2020, the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) announced that it was safe for the vast majority of paediatric oncology and BMT patients to return to school. If your doctor had advised that it was safe for your child to attend school prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now safe for your child to attend school when they are re-opened. Read more