Children, Youth and Families During COVID-19

Back to School

Students in B.C. are returning to in-class learning. New health and safety measures and increased funding for protective equipment like masks and new learning groups are in place to help keep everyone safe. For more information, see:

Parents may have questions about how to support their children with different routines, or have concerns about children’s mental health. Children and youth may be anxious about the pandemic. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may have concerns about how COVID-19 might affect your health or your baby’s health. You may also be concerned about what school may look like for your child.

School Exposures

As social interactions continue in our communities and schools are back in session, you may be concerned about increased exposure to COVID-19. For information about school exposures from your local health authority, see:

You and your child may wonder how the COVID-19 test is given. To help reduce anxiety and worry for children who must take the test, BC Children’s Hospital developed an informative video. You can watch as a Child Life Specialist shows how the test works and how children will feel when receiving it. Watch now to learn more about the COVID-19 test for children. Testing for COVID-19 is recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-like symptoms, even mild symptoms. Testing is not required if you do not have symptoms. You do not need a referral or to call 8-1-1. Learn more about testing and where you can get tested.

Maternal and Infant Health

Pregnancy
There is no current evidence that suggests you are more likely to become infected with COVID-19 while pregnant. It is still important to practice physical distancing and careful hand washing. This is especially important if you might be at greater risk of becoming infected. If you are unsure if you are at greater risk, or have any questions or concerns, contact your healthcare provider. To learn more about pregnancy and COVID-19, see:

Infant Feeding
Breastfeeding is a good way to help protect your baby from becoming sick. Continue to breastfeed and hold your baby skin-to-skin often. Washing your hands often can help keep your baby from getting sick. To be extra safe, wear a mask when breastfeeding if you are feeling unwell. If you are using a breast pump, thoroughly wash all parts of your pump and feeding equipment each time. If you are supplementing or exclusively using formula, have enough formula on hand to last you two weeks.

To learn more about infant feeding during COVID-19, see:

Parenting During COVID-19

Parenting during the pandemic offers unique challenges. Children may be bored and miss friends. Some are no longer in childcare or school. You may have additional concerns about your children's physical and mental health.

Positive Parenting During a Pandemic
Children and youth may need extra support to cope with being away from friends and not being able to participate in their usual activities. Learn about how we can talk to children and youth about the pandemic.

Resources for Adolescents and their Parents
Learn about how you can support your teen during the pandemic.

Promoting Mental Health for Children and Youth

Physical distancing requirements and isolation can affect mental health for children and youth. Find resources for supporting children.

COVID-19 in Children

For information on the effect of COVID-19 on children and how to keep them safe, see BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19 and Children.

Rashes and inflammatory reactions
Children have also been reported to experience rashes or skin lesions or an inflammatory response several weeks after infection with COVID-19. “COVID toes”, also known as chilblain-like lesions, are one of several skin lesions seen with COVID-19. These skin lesions seem to be a specific rash. They are usually seen in children or young adults and not associated with severe disease.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a newly recognized clinical syndrome in children and adolescents. MIS-C appears to be caused by an exaggerated immune response, leading to severe widespread inflammation. Different parts of the body can become inflamed, including the heart, gastrointestinal system, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and lymph nodes. It can be serious and even deadly, but most children get better with medical care.

For more information on rashes and inflammatory reactions, see:

Children with Special Health Needs

You may have additional concerns if your children have special health needs.

Safety

Learn more about preventing injuries during the pandemic.

Last updated: September 21, 2020

The information provided above has been adapted from the BC Centre for Disease Control: Testing Information page and the BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19 Testing for Children and Youth page accessed September 21, 2020.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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