Please write, urgently, to your MP using the letter below, and copy in
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Dear [insert name of MP],
I have recently been made aware that the Welsh Government have put a stop to the widespread testing of young children. As parents of little ones know, testing toddlers is not only difficult but also distressing for both child and parent. The Welsh Government have looked at the balance of harms and benefits of testing young children and changed their guidance so that very young children, both asymptomatic and symptomatic, should not be routinely tested. Testing should only happen if directed by a doctor. This approach, which puts the interest of the child first, should be immediately replicated across all of the UK.
When reviewing the evidence for routinely testing young children the Welsh Government:
- found there to be ‘limited benefit in widespread testing
- acknowledged that testing can be “distressing” for children, with it often being “difficult to obtain an appropriate sample”, and they
- recognised that young children are “much less likely to pass on the virus to others”.
The detailed statement from the Welsh Government can be found here: https://gov.wales/written-statement-future-arrangements-covid-19-testing-children-and-young-people-and-staff-working
Many primaries, nurseries and childminders are requiring young healthy children to undergo testing to enable them to attend their childcare and educational settings and this ongoing, unnecessary harm need to be stopped. While I appreciate there are strongly held views on all sides our young children have already carried a greater burden than they ever should have been asked to bear over the last 22 months, for some of them their entire lives to date, and we owe it to them to get this right by ensuring parliamentary scrutiny.
Please, will you raise this in parliament and seek to have your government follow the example of the Welsh on this occasion and bring an end to the testing of young children now?
[Name AND Address]