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Protecting your child from COVID-19

Protect your child from COVID-19 by:

If your child has symptoms

Your child should stay at home and avoid contact with other people if:

they have symptoms of COVID-19 and:

  • are unwell
  • have a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or higher)

Your child does not need a COVID-19 test unless a GP or health professional advises them to have one.

Urgent advice: Phone your GP if your child:

  • is aged 3 months or younger and has symptoms

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
  • a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or higher)
  • tested positive for COVID-19

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.

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.

When to get urgent medical help for your child

Page last reviewed: 18 April 2023