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 in Sweden. Symptoms are generally milder in children compared with adults and children are less likely to become seriously ill. Available knowledge shows that transmission between children is limited and transmission in schools is very rare.

    Read more: COVID-19 in children and young people – a knowledge compilation (in Swedish).

    Updated: 8/17/2020 1:36:26 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

  • 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.

    Updated: 12/8/2020 2:08:25 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, BRIS (Children's Rights in Society), and Rädda barnen (Save the children).

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

  • Listen

    If a child attending pre-school or being looked after by a childminder becomes unwell, they must stay at home for at least 48 hours after they have gotten better. Sometimes children of this age (1 to 6 years) have mild problems that last only a short time and are not a sign of illness. When this happens, there is no need for them to stay away from school or their childminder. For example, they may cough once or twice or have a runny nose after they have been outdoors, i.e. minor problems that quickly pass. Staff should wait for a bit and see if it looks as though there is a continuing problem before sending the child home.

    Children who have been away from pre-school for seven days due to an infection and have subsequently recovered and feel well can return to pre-school even if they still have mild symptoms such as slight cold symptoms or a cough. It is not uncommon for someone who has had a cold to have a sniffle or a cough for a while afterwards, sometimes for several weeks. However, this does not prevent them from going to pre-school.

    All the above applies if no COVID-19 test has been taken. Children of pre-school age (1 to 6 years) do not need to be tested for COVID-19 when they are ill unless a doctor or nurse think it necessary.

    Updated: 9/25/2020 11:47:16 AM