Caring for children

Caring for children

Based on available evidence, most children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. Following these measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help keep your children safe.

Watch your child for any signs of COVID-19 illness

COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems.

CDC and partners are investigating cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. Learn more about COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Keep children healthy

Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions

  • Parents and caretakers play an important role in teaching children to wash their hands. Explain that hand washing can keep them healthy and stop the virus from spreading to others.
  • Be a good role model—if you wash your hands often, they’re more likely to do the same.
  • Make handwashing a family activity.
  • Learn more about what you can do to protect children.

Help your child stay active

  • Encourage your child to play outdoors—it’s great for physical and mental health. Take a walk with your child or go on a bike ride.
  • Use indoor activity breaks (like stretch breaks or dance breaks) throughout the day to help your child stay healthy and focused.

Help your child stay socially connected

Help your child cope with stress

Watch for signs of stress or behavior changes.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:

  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Unhealthy sleeping habits
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration

Support your child

Positive parenting tip resources:

Dr. Sofia Padilla is a pediatric critical care physician with Advocate Children’s Hospital.

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About the Author

Dr. Sofia Padilla
Dr. Sofia Padilla

Dr. Sofia Padilla is a pediatric critical care physician with Advocate Children’s Hospital.