Caring for your child at home

Most children who test positive for COVID-19 can be safely cared for at home by their usual household carers, even if they are not vaccinated.

When caring for your child with COVID-19 at home, you should:

  • Dress your child in appropriate clothing, so that they are comfortable - not sweating or shivering.

  • Give your child plenty of fluids to drink. They may not feel like drinking much so will need your help and encouragement.

  • Encourage them to rest and not overdo it.

  • Use paracetamol (Panadol) or ibuprofen (Nurofen), only if you think your child is in pain or appears uncomfortable with a fever. Do not to give more of these medicines than is allowed in a 24-hour period, as this may be harmful for children (see instructions on the label).

  • Watch your child for signs that their illness is getting worse.

Monitor your child's condition and call your GP, 134 COVID, 13HEALTH  if you notice any of the following:

  • prolonged fever (more than 5 days)

  • difficulty breathing

  • chest pain

  • severe or worsening abdominal pain

  • frequent vomiting and/or diarrhoea

  • oral intake or urine output that is less than half of normal

  • drowsiness, sleepiness or irritability.

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If you are concerned that your child is seriously unwell, has difficulty breathing, is severely dehydrated or is fainting, please call Triple Zero (000) immediately and inform the operator that your child has COVID-19

Ensure all family members wear a mask when the ambulance arrives.

Paramedics will attend to commence care and take your child to the Emergency Department. An ambulance is the safest way to get to the hospital from isolating at home.

Self-isolation is tough for everyone, but especially children. Consider the below tips to help your child cope with self-isolation while they are COVID-19 positive:

  • Try to maintain a daily routine as much as possible, particularly around sleep and meal times.

  • Ensure children enjoy some physical activity daily.

  • Provide them with healthy meals and snacks and plenty of fluids.

  • Encourage your child to talk to you about COVID-19 and how they are feeling.

  • Reassure your child using age-appropriate language.

  • Make time for fun activities.

  • Keep in touch with family and friends using the phone, iPad, e-mail or social media.