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Symptoms to watch for when screening children for COVID-19

Symptoms of kids sick with COVID

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in school communities begins at home.

Most parents have built a morning routine for their children before they head out the door to school for the day and this school year that includes screening your child for symptoms of COVID-19.

Daily screening helps parents determine if their child should attend school or should be kept home to avoid potentially exposing classmates and teachers. Knowing what symptoms to watch for in your children is essential to keeping schools safe for everyone.

Every morning, parents should determine if their child is experiencing the following new or worsening primary symptoms, not related to other known causes or medical conditions:

  • A fever (temperature of 37.8 C/ 100 F or higher) and/or chills
  • A cough or barking cough (croup) that is continuous, more than usual or making a whistling noise when breathing
  • Shortness of breath, feeling out of breath or being unable to breathe deeply
  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell

If your child has any of the above symptoms, he or she should not attend school and isolate. Parents should contact their health care provider for further advice, assessment and if testing is required.

In addition, parents should also monitor children for the following secondary symptoms that are new, worsening and not related to other known causes or medical conditions:

  • A sore throat or difficulty swallowing
  • A runny or stuffy/congested nose
  • A headache that is unusual or lasts a long time
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Extreme tiredness that is unusual or muscle aches

If your child is experiencing one of the above symptoms, the child should not attend school and isolate for 24 hours. If symptoms improve after 24 hours, he or she can return to school when well enough to do so. A COVID-19 test is not required.

However, if your child is experiencing more than one of the secondary symptoms, he or she should not attend school and isolate. Parents should contact their health care provider for further advice, assessment and if testing is required.

Students should stay home and self-isolate for 14 days if they have:

  • Travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days
  • Been identified as a close contact of someone who currently has COVID-19 by public health
  • Been instructed to isolate by public health, doctor or health care provider or has received a COVID Alert exposure notification on their cell phone

Parents should contact the school and inform them of any symptoms their child is experiencing, primary or secondary.

Other members of the household, including siblings, without symptoms may go to school, day care and work.

Screen for COVID-19 every day before going to school by visiting COVID-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/


Rona,Corona,symptoms,sick,ill,screening,children,COVID-19 Knowing what symptoms to watch for in your children is essential to keeping schools safe for everyone. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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