Protecting your child from COVID-19

Protect your child from COVID-19 by encouraging them to:

You should also follow advice on:

When your child should wear a face mask

Children aged 9 or older must wear a face mask in healthcare settings.

Read more advice about face masks

If your child has symptoms

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 they need to:

They do not need to get tested unless they:

  • have a condition that puts them at higher risk
  • live with someone who has a weak immune system

Find out when your child may need a test for COVID-19

If your child is aged 3 months or younger, phone your GP for advice

Sending your child to school

All children should go to school unless they have:

  • symptoms of COVID-19 - if a runny nose or sneezing is their only symptom, it's OK to send them
  • tested positive for COVID-19

Read about when it’s ok to send your child to school or childcare

Children with health conditions 

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 seems to be low, even if your child has:

  • an underlying health condition
  • special healthcare needs or educational needs

But children with underlying health conditions may be vulnerable to any infection. If you're worried about your child's health condition, ask their specialist team for advice.

Protect a child with a health condition


School and children with health conditions

There is no reason a child with any of the following health conditions cannot go to school:

  • asthma
  • cystic fibrosis
  • diabetes
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • neurodisability

Children may need to stay away from school for some time if they have been told to do so because they have:

  • recently had a transplant
  • severe immunodeficiency from very recent cancer treatment
  • unstable or severe cystic fibrosis

Their specialist can tell you if your child needs to take any extra precautions. Contact the specialist and GP straight away if your child gets COVID-19.

Exercise and play

If you and your child go to a play area:

You don't have to wear a face mask. But if you are indoors and your child is aged 9 or older, wearing a face mask will help give them some protection against getting COVID-19.

Read more about good hygiene and hand washing

If your child gets COVID-19

Children who get COVID-19 generally get a milder infection than adults. They often have no symptoms of COVID-19.

A small number of children with COVID-19 have developed an inflammatory syndrome called paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS). This condition is very rare.

Read about what to do if your child has symptoms of COVID-19

Page last reviewed: 30 June 2022