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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:

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

Anyone in your childcare or support bubble should also stay at home if your child has been in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.

Help from NHS 111

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

What to do if your child seems very unwell

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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