Parents concerned about isolation and logistics
Despite knowing where to attend testing (83%), parents still hold concerns about the access and logistics.
One in three parents (32%) said that the idea of getting their child tested and having to keep them isolated at home would be overwhelming. One in three parents (31%) said it is a hassle to take their child for a COVID-19 test, and two-thirds (61%) said that testing their child every time they had a cold would result in too many tests. Fifteen per cent of parents said they would be very likely to be deterred from taking their child for a COVID-19 test because they believed their child would refuse to be tested.
Unsurprisingly, parents from Victoria (43%) and New South Wales (38%) are more likely to take their child to get tested compared to all other states and territories combined (16%).
Stigma creates fear
The stigma attached to a positive test has 40 per cent of parents indicating that they may not take their child for a test due to fears of what people would think if their child tested positive. More than a quarter of parents (29%) also indicated they would not want people to know if their child tested positive.
“Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to negative attitudes and beliefs toward people, places, or things. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger toward ordinary people instead of focusing on the disease that is causing the problem.
“Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in their communities. No single person or group of people are more likely than others to spread COVID-19.”
When to test for COVID-19?
Worryingly, almost half of parents (46%) are still unsure about which symptoms would mean their child needed a COVID-19 test and 48 per cent of parents indicated that if their child had a runny nose or cough it was likely to be the common cold and they did not need a test.
“With hay fever season upon us it may be challenging to figure out if the runny nose your child has is due to pollen or COVID-19. When symptoms start, whether it is a runny nose or a sore throat, you must go and get tested. You can check your local government website for the full list of symptoms so you know what to look out for,” Dr Rhodes says.
“If in doubt, you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline or contact your GP for further advice. To help keep our families, schools and communities safe, please don’t delay testing or ignore symptoms”.