Children are at a low risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. In BC, children have had a much lower rate of COVID-19 infection than adults, and often have far less severe complications.
Children who have developed COVID-19 have most likely acquired it from adults in the household setting as COVID-19 is more likely to spread between adults than among children.
Some children have a higher chance of more serious symptoms if they get COVID-19. This includes children under 1 year of age, those with weakened immune systems and those with pre-existing lung conditions.
Check with your healthcare provider if you have any specific concerns.
Ensuring you follow public health prevention strategies (such as frequent and thorough hand washing, avoiding touching your face, staying home when sick, and avoiding direct physical contact / maintaining physical distancing) can reduce the risk of COVID-19 for everyone.
Many children can have the virus without showing any symptoms. However, there is no clear evidence that children without symptoms pose a risk to other children or to adults.
When children do get symptoms, they generally have much milder symptoms than adults. For children, it’s important to think about what is usual or unusual about their specific symptoms. For example, a child may have a low grade fever, irritability and a runny nose because they are currently teething or a child may have a runny nose due to seasonal allergies. Check with your health care provider if you have concerns.
Testing is recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones. Visit the BCCDC testing page
for more information on testing, including a list of testing centres and information on what to do after a test.
Watch a video from BC Children’s Hospital on COVID-19 testing in children:
Getting medical care for your child is safe. Offices, clinics and hospitals have the supplies and procedures in place to keep everyone safe during your visit. Very few children have become seriously ill from COVID 19. It is safe for your child to get the medical care they need, like routine immunizations or going to the hospital for broken bones or wounds that may need stitches.
It is important to keep immunizations up to date for your child.
Immunization is an essential service and health units are continuing to hold clinics during COVID-19. However, services may vary. Clinic changes have been made to ensure safety.
for the latest information on immunization during COVID-19.
Take your child immediately to your nearest emergency department or call 911 if your child:
- Is having difficulty breathing
- Has blue lips or skin, or appears very pale
- Is coughing excessively, particularly with a fever
- Is vomiting excessively, especially if there is blood in the vomit
- Has diarrhea and vomiting, is not producing tears, and has not urinated for several hours
- Has a high fever, appears very sleepy, and has not improved with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
- Is under three months of age and has a fever of 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F) or greater
- Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Severe abdominal pain
Information for families of children with immune suppression or medical complexities can be found here: