Last updated: March 15, 2023
To reduce the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, anyone who feels sick should stay home and complete the self-assessment tool to learn more about what to do next. Find out if you are eligible for COVID-19 treatment, continue to follow public health measures and stay up-to-date with your vaccinations including a COVID-19 booster for the best protection.
Caring for a Child who has a Respiratory Virus
Complete a daily symptom check for your child. Keep your child home if they have symptoms, even mild ones, and until they are feeling better and pass the daily Self-Screening Questionnaire.
Here are some ways to provide care and support for a sick child:
- Offer them plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration (lack of fluids in the body).
- Encourage them to rest and offer them their favorite books, games, music, or movies.
- Have your child wear layered clothing that are easy to put on and take off during chills or fever.
- Treat fever and pain with medications when needed.
- Use a humidifier to help with a stuffy nose.
- Monitor symptoms and contact a healthcare provider if they are getting worse.
Speak to a healthcare provider or call 811 (Health Connect Ontario) if you have questions about your child’s health.
Seek medical attention if your child has any of the following:
- Is under 3 months of age with a fever or trouble breathing
- Fever that lasts more than 7 days
- Bluish skin colour
- Not drinking enough fluid
- Not waking up
- Fever with a rash
- Constant vomiting or diarrhea
- Has a weak immune system and has a fever
Learn more about how to prevent further spread of respiratory viruses.
Anyone 6 months and older should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, including a fall booster for anyone 5 years of age and older. Anyone 6 months and older can safely get their COVID-19 booster and other vaccines at the same time. Make sure that your child has finished their isolation before getting vaccinated.
Caring for Someone who has a Respiratory Virus
If you are caring for or living with someone who has a respiratory illness, such as COVID-19 and the flu, follow these steps to reduce the spread of illness at home:
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds after being in contact with the person who has symptoms and throughout the day.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
Wear a mask, gloves and eye protection
- Wear a high quality well-fitted mask when you are caring for someone with symptoms. Encourage the person with symptoms to wear a mask, if possible (do not put masks on children under two years old).
- Use gloves and eye protection if you have contact with the person’s body fluids (e.g. blood, saliva, vomit, urine or feces).
- After providing care, take off your gloves before removing your eye protection and mask. Clean your hands after taking off each item.
- Place disposable used items in a garbage bin lined with a plastic bag, and clean your hands after handling garbage.
Limit interactions with the sick person
- Limit visitors to those who are essential (e.g. support or home care professionals) and keep visits short
- Have the person with symptoms self-isolate as much as possible, especially from people who are at high-risk of serious illness from respiratory viruses
- As much as possible, keep a physical distance from all others in the household
- Avoid sleeping in the same bed as your sick child
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the person who has symptoms.
- All items should be washed between each use.
- Clean & disinfect frequently-touched items, including countertops, light switches, toilets, faucets, and doorknobs.
- After use, items should be washed with liquid soap or detergent in warm water. Dishwashers and washing machines can be used.
- Items used by the person with symptoms can be washed with other items.
- Regular household cleaners or detergents can be used. Choose a cleaning product that cleans and disinfects. Follow product instructions.
Improve ventilation and air flow
- Increase natural air flow by opening windows if it is safe to do so, using portable fans or ceiling fans
- Use and maintain HVAC systems or use portable air cleaners, if possible, and keep vents clear from items
- Learn more about improving ventilation and air flow.
Check for symptoms
For information in French about COVID-19, please visit the Government of Ontario’s website and Public Health Ontario portal.