Most children and teenagers do not become seriously ill with COVID-19. But doctors have seen a very small number of patients with an unusual condition which seems to be linked to the virus.
Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19 (called PIMS-TS or PIMS for short) is very rare, and most children will not be seriously affected.
We’ve looked at the current evidence and worked with doctors to write a guide for parents, carers, teachers and others who look after children and young people.
See guide on PIMS
Talking to children and young people about COVID-19
Guidance from Children’s Commissioners
Children’s Commissioners across the UK have created guidance especially for children and young people:
Stay at home activities
Tips for parents
Books, posters and colouring in to download
- Dr Ranj (paediatrician and TV doctor) has a one-off podcast where he answers children’s questions on coronavirus.
Staying safe advice from UK Governments
Condition and situation specific resources for families and children
Autism and ADHD
Crohn’s and colitis
Disability and complex health needs
- Contact, a charity for families with disabled children, has an information page on COVID-19, covering education, welfare benefits and the Coronavirus Bill, and more.
- WellChild, a UK charity for children and parents with complex needs, has advice about what to do if your child is unwell but not with COVID-19.
- The Council for Disabled Children has a COVID-19 support and guidance webpage, including easy read posters about COVID-19 and information from other organisations.
- Special Needs Jungle has a collection of information for children with special needs, including how to create an effective space for home learning and advice on your child’s Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
- Together for Short Lives has a set of frequently asked questions for families of children with serious life-limiting conditions.
- The British Academy of Childhood Disability has resources for those caring for children with medical complexity or a life-limiting condition.
- Council for Disabled Children has compiled resources, support and guidance about coronavirus for children and young people.
- Public Health England has an easy read factsheet on looking after your health and body (PDF), which can be used for young people with learning disabilities.
- NSPCC has advice for parents and carers on supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has information and resources for the families of people with severe learning disabilities.
Mental health and wellbeing
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
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Other advice for parents and families
Advice if you are struggling because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you are struggling because of COVID –19 you can find helpful information on the UK Government website. This includes if you are feeling unsafe, worried about going into work, paying the bills, getting food or having somewhere to live or are concerned about your or someone else’s mental health.
Keeping children safe from accidents at home
Coping with a crying baby
Education and exams
Explaining bereavement to children
Face coverings for children
- Changes from your usual routine can affect your families’ sleep patterns. Here are some tips from a clinical psychologist in the Evelina London sleep team, about how to help maintain sleep quality.
Financial advice and support
- Citizens Advice has a range of information, including: help you may be access, paying bills, work arrangements and children’s education during COVID-19.
- Turn 2 Us has guidance for accessing benefits during the coronavirus outbreak.
- NSPCC provide a Helpline that is staffed by trained professionals who can provide expert advice and support if you’re concerned about a child, if you’re a parent or carer looking for advice or if you’re a professional in need of information and guidance.
- Shout provides free, confidential support, 24/7 via text for anyone in crisis. You can text SHOUT to 85258 in the UK to text with a trained Crisis Volunteer
- The Samaritans have a free helpline that is available 24/7 for anyone who is having a difficult time or is worried about someone else. You can call 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For children and young people
- ChildLine provides a helpline for any child who is worried or needs help. You can call 0800 1111 any time for free or have an online chat with a counsellor.
- The Mix provides a free confidential helpline, crisis text line and online service for under 25s that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem.
For parents and carers
- Young Minds has a Parents’ and Carers’ Helpline if you are worried about a child or young person’s behaviour or mental health.
- Contact run a free helpline for parents and carers in the UK with a disabled child aged from birth to 25 who want to talk through their issues with an expert adviser.
Surveys and research
The University of Plymouth has launched a nationwide survey to find out how the COViD-19 Stay Home advice has influenced how parents seek help for a sick or injured child. You can take part in the survey or find out more here.
Details of surveys and research looking at children and young people’s experience of COVID-19 can be found here.