RAT Test

Caring for your child if you think they might have


My child may have COVID-19 - Now what?

“There’s a strangeness in this disease. Your mind kind of goes to the worst case scenario.”

Listen to Jessica, mother of a 6-year-old

  • Your child should stay home if sick 
  • Follow local public health recommendations, as they can change due to scientists and healthcare providers learning more about COVID-19
  • If you have questions, call your local telehealth care line or talk to your healthcare provider

  • Use reliable sources for your information. See the links below
Common COVID-19 symptoms in children

“She was pretty fussy. I checked her temperature and it was 38 degrees Celsius, so it was a little high, but it was only for one day.”

Listen to Pavin, father of a 3-year-old

  • Children may have different symptoms, and younger children may not be able to tell you how they are feeling
  • As the virus changes, symptoms may also change
  • Children may have a combination of any of the following symptoms:
    • fever
    • sore throat
    • cough
    • feeling tired
    • not able to taste or smell
Most children who have COVID-19 can be safely cared for at home without needing to go to the hospital
  • If they seem unwell, you can manage their fever with medications such as ibuprofen such as ibuprofen (e.g.Advil) or acetaminophen (e.g.Tylenol)
  • When possible, open the windows for fresh air
  • Wash your and your child’s hands frequently
  • Regularly clean surfaces that are touched frequently, such as bathrooms, doorknobs, and counters


Take your child to Emergency or call 911 if your child has any of the following:

!  Trouble breathing

!   Blue lips

!   Chest pain

!  Cold, sweaty, pale or blotchy skin

!  Dizziness

!  Very bad tummy pain

!  Is confused

Managing stress and anxiety

“I didn’t realize how stressed out we were. It was a big test of my ability to parent kids who are so social. It was hard for them not to see their friends.”

Listen to Silvana, mother of 12 and 15 year olds

  • Staying home can be stressful for everyone
  • Children may miss seeing their family members, their friends and going to activities such as school and sports. It’s important to help your child understand why they need to stay home until they are feeling better
  • Try to find ways for your children to stay connected with their friends. They can use cell phones or computers to hang out
  • Reach out to your child’s school and see if they can attend classes remotely while staying home. Ask for notes, worksheets, and assignments from teachers if your child is well enough to complete school learning tasks from home
  • It’s important for you and your child to know that getting COVID-19 is not their fault
  • Answer questions and share facts with your children in ways that they understand. Here are some suggestions for how you can do this


Parents may need to work from home, or may need to take time off work to care for their child. It’s important to talk to your employer about the need to stay home. You may need to make alternate care arrangements or switch work schedules if possible. 

Reach out for support from others. There are some resources that can help you manage stress. Some organizations have help lines including phone, text or virtual support.

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources:

Getting through it

“We’ve had people drop off lots of stuff on the doorstep – games for the kids to play, snacks, treats, all that sort of stuff.”

Listen to Priya, mother of an 8 year old 

  • Be willing to accept help from your community
  • Many parents told us they found it helpful to let friends and family know their child tested positive for COVID-19 so they could get help
  • Get creative to stay in touch using phones or computers, and programs like FaceTime or Zoom. You could even host a virtual game night
  • Consider taking advantage of food delivery services or curbside grocery pickup

To hear helpful advice from parents whose child had COVID-19 check out this video. 

This infographic was brought to you by ECHO & ARCHE

© ECHO Research and ARCHE, 2022. This resource may not be modified, reproduced or distributed without prior written consent of ECHO Research and ARCHE. Contact shannon.scott@ualberta.ca

This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation through the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute.

Physical treatments can include physiotherapy, prescribed exercise plans, strengthening exercises, massage, and more. 

Psychological treatments can include counselling or talk therapy, supportive therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, mediation, and more. They can be provided on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting. 


The information contained in the video/multimedia content (the “Multimedia”) is provided on an “as is” basis and is offered for general information and educational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute professional advice. There is no guarantee about the accuracy, applicability, fitness or completeness of the information found in the Multimedia. This information is provided without warranty of any kind, and the University of Alberta, its agents, employees, and students disclaim responsibility to any party for any loss or damage of any kind that may arise directly or indirectly as a result of the use of or reliance on the information contained in the Multimedia.

These resources may not be modified, reproduced or distributed without prior written consent of ECHO Research. Contact shannon.scott@ualberta.ca.