The information on this page is meant to support parents, caregivers, and families in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and the flu, in our communities.
To prevent the spread of infections, it is important to stay home when sick.
Everyone has a role to play to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. There are measures we can take to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those most vulnerable in our community. Each measure provides an added layer of protection.
Consider completing Ontario Ministry of Health’s Self-Assessment Tool for your child if they are sick or have symptoms of illness.
There are many reasons children/students may have symptoms that are not related to COVID-19 or another respiratory infection. Examples include:
Children/students with a known long-term health issue that is medically diagnosed and unrelated to a respiratory virus should look for new, different or worsening symptoms. If the child/student has a long-term health issue and symptoms are getting worse, they should stay home and speak to a health care provider or seek medical attention.
A close contact is someone who is living with or exposed to someone who tested positive or has symptoms while that person was contagious. Someone is contagious from 48 hours before symptoms start or their test date (whichever came first), until they complete their self-isolation.
Your child is a close contact if:
In the community, it is the responsibility of the individual with COVID-19 symptoms or COVID-19 positive test to determine who their close contacts are and to notify them of their potential exposure.
The Ontario College of Family Physicians has created a fact sheet with tips for parents/guardians on caring for children with respiratory symptoms, including how to help support your sick child at home and when to call a health care provider. This fact sheet is also available in other languages and can be found under the Caring for sick children tab.
Speak to a healthcare provider or call Health 811 if you have questions about your child’s health.
As respiratory virus activity increases this fall, a well-fitted, high-quality mask in crowded indoor settings with poor ventilation, may be important, especially for those who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay up-to-date with your vaccinations for the best protection against getting very sick from COVID-19. Everyone ages six months and over can get the COVID-19 and other vaccines at the same time.
Visit COVID-19 Vaccines for Infants, Children & Youth webpage to learn about COVID-19 vaccines vaccine safety and benefits and having a positive vaccine experience. Learn about vaccine safety and benefits, specialized accommodations/clinics, and how to talk to your child about getting the vaccine.