Coronavirus (Covid-19) Symptoms in Children
Children and young people aged 18 and under can get coronavirus (COVID-19), but it's usually a mild illness and most get better in a few days.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.
What to do if your child has symptoms
Your child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and they either:
- have a high temperature
- do not feel well enough to go to school, college or childcare, or do their normal activities
They can go back to school, college or childcare when they feel better or do not have a high temperature.
If your child has mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or mild cough, and they feel well enough, they can go to school, college or childcare.
Encourage your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and to wash their hands after using or throwing away tissues.
Most children who are unwell will recover in a few days with rest and plenty of fluids.
If a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and where possible avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day, they took the test. The risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower after 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature. The school has the right to insist on this for the safety of others.
Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
This page was last reviewed on Monday 11th April 2022.