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Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in children

Advice about symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) in children, including when to get medical help if your child seems unwell.

Children can get coronavirus (COVID-19), but they seem to get it less often than adults and it's usually less serious.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a high 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 sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

What to do if your child has symptoms

If your child has any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, even if they're mild:

  1. Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if they have COVID-19 as soon as possible.
  2. Your child should stay at home and not have visitors (self-isolate) until you get the test result – they can only leave home to have the test. Check if you and anyone else your child lives with need to self-isolate.

Help from NHS 111

Get help from NHS 111 if you're worried about your child or not sure what to do.

Children and babies will still get illnesses that can make them very unwell quickly. It's important to get medical help if you need it.

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