The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 25 March 2020

COVID-19 and children

COVID-19 and children

  • Listen

    Children represent only a small proportion of the reported cases of COVID-19. Studies suggest that infected children only develop mild symptoms. There is currently limited knowledge about to what extent COVID-19 is transmitted between children, and there are no reports about extensive transmission within groups of children.

    Even if they have mild symptoms, children can pass the infection to others (just like adults with mild symptoms). Therefore, it is important that children with fever or cold symptoms avoid seeing other people outside their immediate family. It is of particular importance that they do not meet older people or people belonging to a risk group.

    New knowledge is added every day, and we monitor the situation closely to be able to give accurate advice.

    BRIS (Children's Rights in Society, in Swedish) and the WHO have published support on how to support children in matters related to COVID-19.

    Updated: 5/18/2020 1:54:11 PM

  • Listen

    Yes, children and youths can be vaccinated according to the child vaccination programme also during the outbreak of COVID-19.

    In case of an ongoing acute infection with fever or an affected general condition (COVID-19 or other illness) the vaccination should, as always, be postponed.

    Updated: 5/14/2020 11:14:57 AM

  • Why are schools and pre-schools not closed in Sweden?
    Listen

    The Public Health Agency does not currently consider it necessary to close all schools in Sweden. There are no scientific evidence indicating that such an intervention would have any significant impact on the pandemic, nor has any major transmission of COVID-19 in schools been reported.

    Closing schools and pre-schools would have a negative impact on society. For example, essential workers to the public (e.g. healthcare staff) would need to stay at home with their children. It could also put vulnerable groups, such as grandparents, at risk if they help out with childcare.

    School is also a place of safety and stability for many children. Before closing a school, there must be plans made for alternative places where the children should go instead. However, it is of utmost importance that staff and children who have any symptoms of illness stay at home.

    The Swedish Parliament has passed a bill (2020:148) allowing temporary closure of schools and pre-schools due to extraordinary events, making it possible for the Government or the head of a school to close schools under particular circumstances. There is also a regulation (2020:115) regarding the provision of education for pupils during a school closure.

    Updated: 5/18/2020 1:54:46 PM

  • Listen

    In times of insecurity and unrest, children can be affected in different ways. They may worry about their own or their family members’ health, death, parents losing their jobs, financial problems for their family, or that they will not be allowed to go to school. As an adult, is it important to listen and provide support if children want to talk about what is happening in society.

    The WHO provides guidance on how to support children in matters related to COVID-19. Information in Swedish is available from Krisinformation.se, BRIS (Children's Rights in Society), and Rädda barnen (Save the children).

    Updated: 5/14/2020 11:20:34 AM