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PCR tests on small children

(40 Posts)
Flaxseed Thu 11-Nov-21 22:18:31

DGS (aged 4) started coughing and had a high temperature for a few days. School said they require a PCR test before he can return and drs won’t see him without one.
DD booked one and I drove her to the testing site so she could sit in the back with him (as no one is allowed out of the car)
She prepared him (using a cotton bud with a teddy), told him it would be quick, bribed with chocolate etc and he seemed to be ok……. Until he saw the swab sad
It was awful. Although strapped into the car seat, he kicked and thrashed out as soon as she went near him. I held his feet from the front seat whilst she tried to hold his hands down and complete the procedure as he was thrashing his head about. We all found it distressing and did the best we could.
The result came back today as ‘inadequate’ specimen so she had to take him back. I couldn’t go as I was working so she had to do it alone.
Bless him, he’s such a sweet, good boy but as soon as they turned into the centre he began crying and saying ‘No mummy. Please don’t do it’
She had to get permission to get out of the car to reach him in the back and had to pin him down (she’s 18 weeks pregnant) and do it all again - all the while he was screaming ‘Please stop Mummy’
She is so upset by it. She said she felt like it was legalised abuse.
He was ok after but asked her to ‘never take me there again mummy’
She said she was shaking for hours after and felt traumatised by the whole thing.
I feel so bad for her. I felt upset going just the once.
Surely there should be an easier way for children to be tested?

Sorry just offloading really.
He’s such a sensitive, well behaved little chap and it feels so wrong that we had to do this to him sad

Hetty58 Thu 11-Nov-21 22:26:55

Ridiculous - I'd just keep him off school for longer rather than go through that.

Urmstongran Thu 11-Nov-21 22:29:50

Our daughter took our 4y old granddaughter for a PCR test (again). She had one done a month or so back which was negative but she cried and gagged so much in the car her mummy felt stressed and her sensitive 9y old brother who was in the car with them got upset too watching his sister crying.

Today’s test was (again) because she was coughing non stop in school. I suggested mummy just take her on her own this time and I would mind her brother while she went.

This afternoon was less of an ordeal as it’s no longer the throat swab like last time (and the gagging reflex) but bless her, it’s a learned response now and again she cried and wanted to turn her head away and say no. Mum said ‘you have to sweetheart, it’s the rules and if I don’t do it then the lady over there will have to do it for you’.

It all seems horrid to littlies. I hope you get a negative test back. Same for us.

Shelflife Thu 11-Nov-21 22:30:39

Oh dear ! Your post has brought me to tears. such a traumatic experience for the three of you. I am so sorry your little GS was so distressed. Your daughter must feel very upset indeed and as a GM with a GC aged almost four my heart goes out to you. He will recover from this I feel sure of that , give him a massive hug and give him a big treat . Thinking of you. Ok

Hetty58 Thu 11-Nov-21 22:30:43

maddyone Thu 11-Nov-21 22:31:15

Poor little soul. My daughter has had to do several PCRs on her children (as a key worker they had to send the children to school and nursery so they were exposed a lot during the first lockdown) and she said it was never easy, but she did manage it. I don’t find the swab very comfortable myself just for a lateral flow test.

misty34 Thu 11-Nov-21 22:31:51

Exactly the same situation arose with my daughter when she had to take 2yr old grandson. He was hysterical and she was a wreck. Fortunately the test was adequate and did not have to be repeated. This was very early days of the pandemic and my daughter thought that someone trained would do the test. She wasn't aware that she would have to do it herself, so was really unprepared and on her own. Not ideal at all.

Urmstongran Thu 11-Nov-21 22:34:25

Hetty58 they would be missing weeks off school otherwise. There are so many coughing viruses going around. As one cleared, a week later she got another! Their immune responses are so low because they’ve not been playing and mixing with other children so much these last few months and winter bugs will get them more this year till they build up some immunity. At least with a negative PCR they can go back into school, coughing or not.

Urmstongran Thu 11-Nov-21 22:39:37

Hmm. Read the link.
At the beginning Point 3 states:
^If for any reason you can’t do the test, please continue
to self-isolate as a household^

Right o.
That’s big brother missing school too, mum a teacher that’d go down well with the head and dad self employed - no work for 10 days and a mortgage to pay.
Not feasible.

Flaxseed Thu 11-Nov-21 22:40:43

DD did all of these things to prepare him. He nodded, said he understood, waved to the man who gave us the kit as he did a funny dance to make DGS laugh, and held his chocolate (bribery!) in anticipation of his ‘after test treat’
But he lost it bless him as soon as that swab went near his nose.
DD said she’ll never put him through that again. Whilst 10 days isolation would be difficult with an active 4 year, it will be preferable to pinning him down again as he screams for you to stop. Horrendous experience sad

Calistemon Thu 11-Nov-21 22:41:02

This can be very traumatic for little ones.

DGD had to have a PCR test a while ago and DIL did one first to show her there was nothing to worry about (DIL said she had to pretend that it wasn't as bad as feared). She had to have another one recently and coped ok last time.

I'm afraid that I did a LFT the other week and gagged - older DGD told me very matter-of-factly that swabbing each nostril was a recommended alternative.

Calistemon Thu 11-Nov-21 22:44:05

Flaxseed I used to have to put eye drops into my DC's eyes 4 times a day from the age of about 3 and had to pin her down and bribe her to do it, so I can sympathise.

GagaJo Thu 11-Nov-21 22:51:37

My grandson has had several. He's 3. Yes, he thrashes and screams, but let's be honest. It DOESN'T hurt. It's just horrible. He recovers very quickly afterwards, as long as there's a bribe.

Some children have to undergo very serious medical treatment. Having a PCR test to protect people isn't that big a deal.

We all (including GS) had to have a test on Tuesday, and I'm sure there will be more. It's the price we pay for going about relatively normal lives.

I know I sound hard, but I'm honestly not. I worship the ground 'my' boy walks on. The test just isn't that bad.

Urmstongran Thu 11-Nov-21 22:53:33

I recently chatted with a nurse and said ‘when we were youngsters in junior school we had to line up in the corridor outside a room waiting for our turn of a sugar lump (polio I think) and a needle - metal syringe, clanged into a metal kidney dish sterilised later in an autoclave’. The child coming out each time was crying. With fear I expect. I think I was saying ‘look how we had to get on with things back in the day’.

She looked at me and then said ‘and all these 60 years later you can still remember that awful experience, which is why we don’t do it like that any more’.

Point understood.

What about PCR?

Calistemon Thu 11-Nov-21 22:57:44

The test just isn't that bad
Perhaps my gagging reflex is strong.
I had to have an impression taken at the dentist this week and gagged again, but did apologise.

GagaJo Thu 11-Nov-21 22:59:29

Oh don't get me wrong. It IS horrible. No one likes it. But it isn't agony. I understand my grandson kicking off about not wanting to have it AND about having it done to him.

But he also kicks off about eating green beans. Or about putting his shoes on. So...

Redhead56 Thu 11-Nov-21 22:59:49

My three little granddaughters twins age four at reception and the youngest only two at nursery were all sent home. All granddaughters had head colds caught as soon as they started reception and nursery. Their parents were told to keep them away until tested.
The amount of stress this caused both sets of parents and granddaughters was unbelievable. My daughter has been very ill recently and my daughter in law also has a health concern herself.
They were sent to Walk ins and refused the tests staff didn't want to deal with the children. Then both sets of parents were referred to different hospital receptions they don't live by us but in different towns. My grandchildren witnessing drug addicts and drunks being abusive for hours on end in both hospital receptions.
I don't know what the solution could be in this difficult situation. But it does not seem right putting little children through this as it's distressing for all concerned.

Calistemon Thu 11-Nov-21 23:02:17


Oh don't get me wrong. It IS horrible. No one likes it. But it isn't agony. I understand my grandson kicking off about not wanting to have it AND about having it done to him.

But he also kicks off about eating green beans. Or about putting his shoes on. So...

I do remember the agony of the eye drops - four times a day every summer and having to sit on her (well not literally, pin her down on the floor) to have to do it.

Calistemon Thu 11-Nov-21 23:02:52

I mean it was agony for me 😀

VioletSky Thu 11-Nov-21 23:12:35

Oh no! Bless him. I'm hearing these stories a lot, stssrnge how small children will fit as much of there hands as they can get up there but a swab, no.

My youngest does not cope well either.

Soon forgotten though

VioletSky Thu 11-Nov-21 23:13:24

So many spelling errors, must be bedtime

Calistemon Thu 11-Nov-21 23:13:37

stssrnge how small children will fit as much of there hands as they can get up there but a swab, no.

GagaJo Thu 11-Nov-21 23:29:26


Oh no! Bless him. I'm hearing these stories a lot, stssrnge how small children will fit as much of there hands as they can get up there but a swab, no.

My youngest does not cope well either.

Soon forgotten though


Reminds me of the time he gagged when his mum tried to feed him his dinner. But was later quite determined to lick the toilet.

No logic.

welbeck Thu 11-Nov-21 23:59:12

it does hurt some people.
and psychological suffering can be quite as painful as physical.
no one can say that something does not hurt someone else.
we are not them. we are not having their experience.

welbeck Fri 12-Nov-21 00:02:11

i read months ago that a british lab was developing a cheek swab test for covid, and that it would be more useful because it only caught the active infection, not residues from months ago.
haven't heard anything since.
where is it. give it A1 priority ! i'd happily pay for a cheek test.