Boston Children's response to COVID-19

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Children & Teens

The translations of this page are translated from English into another language using Google Translate, a third party tool. Please note that such translations from the English language version may contain errors and/or inaccuracies as a result of the translation. Boston Children’s Hospital disclaims all liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may result from the use of the translations created by such third party tool.

What are coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, and COVID-19?

The new coronavirus causes an illness called COVID-19.  This virus impacts people of all ages, however symptoms vary widely with each individual. Symptoms are also similar to those of other common illnesses.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of three vaccines to prevent COVID-19: one for people 5 years of age and two others for people over age 18.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 may have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. At this time, the focus is on individuals with respiratory illness, particularly those with one or more of the key symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; or at least two of these symptoms:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
compare symptoms of covid 19

Why are there different variants of COVID-19?

Viruses constantly mutate and change. Some changes are irrelevant, while other changes make the virus weaker. However, some changes make the virus either easier to spread or potentially more disease causing. The CDC and other infectious disease specialists closely monitor the emergence of variants such as Delta and Omicron and will alert the public if a variant poses a significant risk to public health and can be easily transmitted from person to person.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

The treatment is supportive care, such as providing oxygen or breathing support if needed, and keeping patients hydrated.

What is long COVID?

Long COVID, also known as post-COVID syndrome, is the presence of one or more lingering symptoms that remain long after a child or teenager has recovered from COVID-19. Learn more about how we treat it in our Post-COVID Clinic.

What should I know about COVID-19 testing?

Science for Kids: Nasal Swab

COVID-19 Testing

Antibody Testing

Science for Kids: Nasal Swab

COVID-19 Testing

Antibody Testing



Where do I go to get my child tested for COVID 19 if they have symptoms?
What’s it like to get a nasal swab?
What is the cash price of a COVID-19 test?

COVID-19 prevention

I keep hearing about “quarantine” and “isolation.” What’s the difference?

Here, we answer common questions about quarantine and isolation, based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

cartoon working on a computer with cat
Wash your hands often with soap and water, following CDC handwashing guidelines.
Cover nose and mouthCover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and immediately wash your hands.
Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouthDo not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practice social distancingPractice social distancing.
covid vaccine illustrationIf available, get the vaccine

Does my child need to wear a mask?

The CDC recommends that everyone over age 2 that is not vaccinated wear a face covering when they have to go out in public.

  • The face covering is meant to protect other people, because you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you don’t have symptoms.
  • Masks should cover your nose and mouth.
  • Children under age 2 and people who have trouble breathing shouldn’t wear face masks.
  • It is not a substitute for social distancing. 

What is social distancing and why is it important?

Social distancing means staying at home except to run essential errands, such as going to the grocery store and pharmacy. When you do go out, maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and other people. Unfortunately, you should not arrange play dates with children who don’t live with you until the outbreak is under control. You can, however, go outside and play with your child, as long as they maintain a distance of six feet from other people.

Resources for parenting infants, children, and teens during the pandemic

Tips for parenting during coronavirus

Infants & toddlers

Read more
Talking to your kids about coronavirus

School-aged children

Read more
Preventing acne while wearing a mask

Teens & young adults

Read more

COVID-19 complications in children: What’s behind the recent alerts?

Unpacking the recent alerts about multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, a rare post-COVID-19 complication.

Combat the deadliest health threats by donating to Boston Children's Hospital. Your donation helps find cures, vaccines, and breakthroughs, and brings hope to families during the toughest fight of their lives.

Ways to help


This web site may contain links to other web sites and other web sites may provide links to this web site. These links are provided for your convenience only. Boston Children's Hospital does not control these other web sites and assumes no liability or responsibility for them, including any content or services provided to you by such web sites or links from other web sites to content on this web site that was provided to you. You should not consider any link to or from another web site as an endorsement of that web site by Boston Children's Hospital unless Boston Children's Hospital expressly states so.

Terms of Use

The commitment and compassion with which we care for all children and families is matched only by the pioneering spirit of discovery and innovation that drives us to think differently, to find answers, and to build a better tomorrow for children everywhere.

Kevin B. Churchwell, President and CEO

Connect with Boston Children's Hospital