Guidance for parents & carers

Updated 13 January 2022

What to do if you think your child has coronavirus

If you think your child has coronavirus (fever measuring 37.8C, a new persistent cough or a change or loss of sense of smell or taste) please arrange a test.  You do not need to arrange a PCR test if your child has taken a lateral flow test and the result was positive. If you’re not sure, you can book a PCR test by calling 119 or going online

We know there’s a high demand for tests at the moment. You can order lateral flow tests to be delivered to your home at

Please don’t attend A&E or your GP practice for a PCR or lateral flow test – they aren’t able to provide them.

If your child tests positive, they need to self-isolate (not attend school) for 10 days, or until a negative swab test result is received.

If the test comes back negative, the child can return to school provided they have been fever free for 48 hours and feel well.

For the latest guidance on testing and self-isolation, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Is it a cold, coronavirus or something else?

If your child has a runny nose or a sore throat, this is much more likely to be a common cold. In those cases, please do not get a test.

At this time of the year children will pick up lots of germs and bugs, often these are not serious. If the symptoms are not the same as coronavirus then you may find it better to visit  your local pharmacy, speaking to your GP or calling NHS 111 (or go online

As parents and carers you will know your children well. If you genuinely feel your child is seriously unwell or injured then please do call 999 or go straight to A&E.  To help ensure we can look after the most sickest people, please only use this option in an emergency.