Covid 19 Advice for Parents

COVID-19 Advice for Parents

Symptoms to look out for and when to contact your GP

Schools are back and the winter season is ahead of us. Every year, schoolchildren get colds, flu and other infections. This time, coronavirus (COVID-19) is with us.

Here is a guide on what symptoms to look out for and what to do if your child is unwell.



 When to keep your child at home and phone your GP

Do not send your child to school or childcare if any of the following is true. Your child has:

  • a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more
  • any other common symptoms of coronavirus such as a new cough, loss or changed sense of taste or smell, or shortness of breath
  • been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
  • been living with someone who is unwell and may have coronavirus


You will need to:

  1. Isolate your This means keeping them at home and completely avoiding contact with other people, as much as possible. Your child should only leave your home to have a test or to see your GP.
  2. Phone your They will advise you if your child needs a coronavirus test.
  3. Everyone that your child lives with should also restrict their movements, at least until your child gets a diagnosis from their GP or a coronavirus test result. This means not going to school, childcare or
  4. Treat your child at home for their



 When it’s okay to send your child to school or childcare

It’s usually okay to send your child to school or childcare if they:

  • only have nasal symptoms, such as a runny nose or a sneeze
  • do not have a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more (as long as their temperature has not been lowered by taking any form of paracetamol or ibuprofen)
  • do not have a cough
  • have not been in close contact with anyone who has coronavirus
  • do not live with anyone who is unwell and may have coronavirus
  • have been told by a GP that their illness is caused by something else, that is not Your GP will tell you when they can return to school or childcare
  • have got a negative (‘not detected’) coronavirus test result and have not had symptoms for 48 hours


Most of the time, you do not need to phone your GP if a runny nose or sneezing are your child’s only symptoms. Talk to your pharmacist instead.


Preventing the spread of illness

Help children to understand and to follow this advice:









Wash their hands regularly

Use tissues or elbows to cover their coughs and sneezes

Keep their distance from people who are sneezing or coughing

Don’t share toys

Don’t share food at lunch or other times




More information

Go to for more information. This includes advice on the following:

  • protecting your child from coronavirus
  • if your child has symptoms of coronavirus
  • getting urgent medical advice if your child is very unwell
  • children with underlying health conditions
  • explaining coronavirus to your child
  • how your child should wash their hands
  • caring for a child isolating and self-isolation
  • treating coronavirus symptoms at home
  • bringing your child to a test centre and test results



Flu vaccine

This year, all children aged 2 to 12 years will be offered the

children’s nasal flu vaccine free of charge. See





For updates visit







Published: February 2021




Ireland’s public health advice is guided by WHO and ECDC advice