Coronavirus quick guide for parents/carers

Symptoms of coronavirus in children

The main symptoms of coronavirus 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 your sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

My child has coronavirus symptoms

You should make sure:

  • they do not attend school
  • they get tested for coronavirus
  • the whole household self-isolates while waiting for the test results
  • you inform the school immediately if they are not already aware and let them know the results of any test.

Only return to school if their test comes back negative and they are well enough to return to school. The child should not be tested again unless they develop new symptoms.

If the test result is inconclusive, or if no test is taken, then your child must be assumed to be COVID positive.

My child tests positive for coronavirus

You should make sure:

  • they do not attend school
  • they self-isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms started (or from day of test if no symptoms)
  • you inform school immediately about test results
  • the whole household self-isolates for 14 days from day when symptoms started (or from day of test if no symptoms) - even if someone tests negative during those 14 days
  • other household members do not get tested unless they develop symptoms because even if they tested negative, they must still isolate for 14 days

Only return back to school after 10 days has passed so long as the child is feeling better and has been without a fever for at least 48 hours.

They can return to school after 10 days even if they still have a cough or loss of smell/taste. These symptoms can last for several weeks once the infection is gone.

Somebody in my household has coronavirus symptoms

You should make sure:

  • they do not attend school
  • any household member with symptoms get a test
  • the whole household self-isolates while waiting for test results
  • you inform school immediately if they are not already aware and let them know about the test results

Only return back to school if the household member test is negative, and the child does not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Somebody in my household has tested positive for coronavirus

You should make sure:

  • they do not attend school
  • the whole household self-isolates for 14 days from day when symptoms started (or from day of test if no symptoms) - even if someone tests negative during those 14 days

There is no need for the child to get tested unless they develop symptoms.

Only return back to school when child has completed 14 days of self-isolation, even if they tested negative during the 14 days.

NHS Test and Trace has identified my child as a ‘close contact’ of somebody with symptoms or confirmed coronavirus

You should make sure:

  • they do not attend school
  • they self-isolate for 14 days (as advised by NHS Test and Trace) - even if they tested negative during those 14 days
  • the rest of household does not need to self-isolate, unless they are a ‘close contact’ too

Only return back to school when the child has completed 14 days of self-isolation, even if they tested negative during those 14 days.

We/my child has travelled and has to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine

You should make sure:

  • you do not take unauthorised leave in term time
  • you consider quarantine requirements and FCO advice when booking travel
  • you provide information to school as per attendance policy

Returning from a destination where quarantine is needed:

  • they should not attend school
  • anyone who has travelled to a non-exempt destination self-isolates for 14 days – even if they test negative during those 14 days

Only return back to school when the quarantine period of 14 days has been completed for the child, even if they test negative during those 14 days

We have received advice from a medical/official source that my child must resume shielding

You should make sure:

  • they do not attend school
  • you contact the school as advised by attendance officer/pastoral team
  • they should shield until you are informed that their restrictions are lifted, and shielding is paused again

Only return back to school when school/other official agencies inform you that restrictions have been lifted and your child can return to school again.

I am not sure who should get a test for coronavirus

You should make sure:

  • only people with symptoms get a test
  • people without symptoms are not advised to get a test, even if they are a ‘close contact’ of someone who tested positive

Only return back to school when conditions, as matching your situation, are met.

For further information please visit GOV.UK: Back to school