Advice and information for children and adolescents
The number of children with confirmed cases has so far been low. This could indicate that children either get milder symptoms or are infected to a lesser degree.
In earlier outbreaks with other coronaviruses (MERS and SARS), infection was rarely reported among children.
It is unknown whether children with chronic diseases have a more serious disease course of COVID-19. Among 44 000 confirmed cases in China, only 2.4 per cent were children. Among these, few were seriously ill.
School closures: can children be together?
From 13th March, childcare centres and schools are closed, see:
Play is important for development and well-being but when schools are closed over longer periods to prevent transmission, children and adolescents should not gather in large groups.
Limit contact with other people (e.g. outside the family), and when together, maintain a distance of at least 1 metre. Grandparents should not be asked to look after children because a higher age gives a risk for a severe course of the disease.
If it is necessary to collaborate with other families to look after children, limit this to small groups to limit potential transmission. The size of the group should be considered based on the following:
- Limit the number of children and adolescents who are together. Try to have the same children who meet.
- Limit the duration (few hours)
- Preferably stay outdoors
- Limit overnight stays
- Wash hands often, before, during and after being together, and maintain good cough etiquette
- Children and adolescents with symptoms of respiratory infection should be kept at home and should not mix with other children outside the family. This also applies with mild symptoms.
For children and adolescents who are in home isolation or home quarantine, there are other recommendations.
Public health clinics, school health service and health clinics for adolescents
The health service is in a challenging situation that may lead to temporary changes in the service offered by the public health clinics and school health service. See your municipality's website or contact your municipality for updated information.
Talking to children
It is important to talk to children / pupils about coronavirus disease to avoid fear and to create security around the situation.
This film is made by the Norwegian Directorate of Health and is intended for children and adolescents. The sound is only in Norwegian but subtitles are available in several languages:
- Click on the cogwheel symbol at the bottom when you open the film
- Remove "autoplay" if it shows red
- Choose "settings"
- Click "subtitles"
- Choose "automatic translation"
- Choose language
(We cannot guarantee that the autotranslation for some of the languages is completely correct).