COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease that can affect your lungs, airways and other organs. Find out the best ways to help your children, family/whānau and yourself in this pandemic. You can also check the section COVID-19 immunisation in children.

Boy with a virus blowing his nose into a tissue

Image purchased from https://www.123rf.com/
Image ID: 54118616
Copyright: Jean-Paul Chassenet

Children playing soccer

Guidance for children and teens returning to normal activity and sport after having COVID. 

Boy lying down with thermometer in mouth

If your child has COVID-19, it can be a worrying time for you. But most children with COVID-19 will have a mild illness. Find out about how to care for your child at home and when to see a doctor.

A girl sitting looking at camera

Is your child over the COVID-19 pandemic and feeling a bit sad and down sometimes? A New Zealand psychologist has created a booklet for kids - to help them if they are over COVID-19 - 'The RONA'. 

A man helps a boy wear a mask to protect against COVID-19

COVID-19 is airborne and can spread easily from one person to another. There are some key things you can do to minimise the risk of infecting others, including wearing masks and ventilating spaces, such as opening windows.

Boy with a virus blowing his nose into a tissue

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It can affect your lungs, airways and other organs. If your child or you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home. Call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice. 

Child sleeping

If your child has tested positive for COVID-19, they need to isolate for 7 days. This means they have to stay home for 7 days, and cannot have any visitors. Most children will have mild to moderate symptoms and can be cared for at home.

If your child or someone in your house has COVID-19 symptoms, they need a rapid antigen test (RAT). Anyone can get a free pack of RATs from a range of locations, including testing sites, marae and pharmacies.  

Graphic of a family group

There are some things whānau can do to prepare for positive cases in their home, as well as having the COVID-19 vaccine. These include preparing a kit with essential items, making a COVID-19 home plan, and preparing to self-isolate if you, your child or someone else in your household test positive.  

comic from a girl about growing up during the Covid-19 pandemic

Some Auckland children have made comics about what life was like for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The comics show how children have been worried and sad at times, the challenges they faced and how they helped their families during a difficult time. 

mother wearing mask breastfeeding baby

If you are COVID-19 positive and caring for a newborn baby, there are some things you can do to protect them. Find out what you can do to keep them safe, what you can expect from your maternity carer and what to do if you become quite unwell. 

Girl talking to doctor

Heard talk about genome sequencing and COVID-19 and want to know more? Check out this short animation for tamariki from Māui Studios with support from the University of Otago and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. It features Koro, a scientist and his granddaughter, Ruia, who is intrigued by science and technology but tired of kōrero about COVID-19.

Masked kids

Omicron is another form of COVID-19. It's more infectious than previous versions, so spreads very quickly. It's less likely to make you severely ill. Some people might not even know they have it. Stopping Omicron is all about masks and fresh air. Check a booklet to support kids returning to school with Omicron in 2022.

Family - mother and 5 children sitting on steps

Children and teenagers' emotional wellbeing is better when whānau can get the right support. Now all Kiwi families have access to free parenting support to improve emotional wellbeing for our tamariki.

A young boy holding a mask

Kiwi kids, it's time to mask your face at school and when you're out and about in the community. Protect yourself, your friends, your family, your whānau and community.

pregnant woman holding stomach

If you're pregnant/hapū, or planning a pregnancy, it is important to have the COVID-19 vaccine. Studies have shown this is safe and better for you and your baby. If you get COVID-19 while you’re pregnant you can become very sick. You can get a COVID-19 vaccine at any stage of your pregnancy. 

animation of proud family after getting vaccinated

Watch a short video in English answering the most common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

screenshot image of animated vaccine

Watch a short video in Samoan answering the most common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Graphic with text 'How does the Pfizer vaccine work' and vaccine

Watch a short video in te Reo Māori answering the most common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Photo of baby breastfeeding

If you're breastfeeding and haven't had the COVID-19 vaccine already, you can make a booking now. There are no safety concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Immunisation remains a priority for whānau during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can  protect your child against serious diseases like whooping cough and measles. 

A Mayo Clinic (USA) video which prepares children for a COVID-19 PCR nasal swab test and helps ease some of their possible fear and anxiety. This video is suitable for children as young as 4 years old. Note the video shows a PCR test, not a RAT test. Check the information on rapid antigen tests (RATs) if that's what your child is having.

Looking for something to help your child make sense of COVID-19? Check these resources - from videos for kids about the science behind coronavirus to online stories that can be important conversation starters in your household. 

Hands being washed under a tap

If your child or you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home. Call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.

Photo of someone wearing a mask

Wearing a mask or face covering can reduce the risk of people who have COVID-19 spreading the virus to others. A mask or face covering can help stop infectious droplets spreading when a person speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes. See how to make your mask more efficient. 

Graphic of COVID-19 symptoms

How to recognise possible symptoms of COVID-19. If you or your child have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting a free test.

Little child, boy, hugging his mother and a teddy bear

It is perfectly normal and OK to feel anxiety in the current COVID-19 pandemic. This can result in strong feelings, reactions, and changes in behaviour. There are a number of steps you can take to help your children, family/whānau and yourself.

Mother with newborn baby

If you are pregnant, it's natural you may be feeling increased anxiety and distress while there is COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand. Find out what you can do to help keep you and your baby safe and what to expect from your maternity carer.  

Baby breastfeeding

If you have COVID-19, you can still breastfeed your baby. So far, there is no evidence of mothers passing on COVID-19 to babies through breastmilk. The main risk of breastfeeding is close contact between you and your baby. So, take precautions if you are breastfeeding and you have COVID-19.

Most children who get COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and get better quickly. But a small number of older children may have symptoms that last longer. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 condition or long COVID. Find out what is known about long COVID and how to care for a child who is taking longer to get better. 

School bag on a bench with notebook and calculator alongside

The NZ Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes advises that it is safe for children and young people with diabetes to be at school when they are open. It's also important for children and young people with diabetes (5 years of age and over) to have the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Sick child lying in hospital bed

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a huge over-reaction in the infection-fighting system (immune system). The syndrome usually happens 2 to 6 weeks after a child has had COVID-19. MIS-C can cause severe inflammation in many parts of the body. 

Boy sitting at a desk looking at his work with a teacher looking on

The Australian and NZ Children's Haematology and Oncology Group advises it is safe for all siblings and the vast majority of childhood cancer and bone marrow transplant patients to be at school when schools are open.

Mother and daughter hugging

It can be a frightening and confusing time for children when a family member dies. The restrictions due to COVID-19 make it more challenging to meet the needs of children, particularly when a family member dies from COVID-19 infection. Find out how you can create new opportunities to help your child in this process.

Graphic of group of children in masks

DELTA got everyone worried. Check a booklet by Mel Churton, New Zealand psychologist. It offers support for children returning to school. There are 2 versions - for children up to year 8 and for years 9+.

A section of the KidsHealth COVID-19 QR code poster

To give others easy access to all KidsHealth's COVID-19 content, you can share a QR code poster. Anyone can scan the QR code with their phone and go straight to the KidsHealth COVID-19 section.