Children and youth
Children and adolescents usually have a mild course of the disease, and very few children become seriously ill from COVID-19.
General advice that applies to everyone, including children and adolescents:
- Sick people should stay at home or go home if they get symptoms and get tested
- Good hand hygiene and cough etiquette
- In families with newborn babies and infants, visits from adults and children with respiratory tract infections should be limited or avoided.
Children and the coronavirus
The coronavirus is in general not dangerous for children and youth. If they are infected, they typically experience only mild symptoms. 20-30 % experience no symptoms at all. Those that experience mild symptoms typically have a sore throat coughing, a headache and lethargy, and some experience body aches and a fever.
For further information, refer to COVID-19 disease and few long-term effects among children - FHI
It is primarily children (and adults) with symptoms that are contagious, with the highest risk of transmission at onset and one-to-two days prior to the symptoms appearing.
Children and youth in risk groups
Both national and international experience show that children to a lesser extent than adults develop an illness due to the coronavirus, and there is seldom a need for hospitalization. This also applies to children with chronic diseases. There is little evidence to suggest that the risk of developing a serious illness from COVID-19 is higher for these children compared to healthy children.
On a global level there are very few reports of children with COVID-19 who have died, and very rarely for healthy children.
Some children with a serious disease may be more vulnerable. In these cases, kindergarten and school adaptations can be considered. This primarily applies to children with rare and serious underlying medical conditions.
For more information about these groups and COVID-19 in children and youth, visit:
- Norwegian Society of Pediatricians (Norsk barnelegeforening) (in Norwegian)
- Advice and information for children and adolescents (fhi.no)
- Measures for infection control in kindergarten and school (fhi.no) (in Norwegian)
Children and the COVID-19 certificate
Parents or guardians of children under the age of 16 years old can access the COVID-19 certificate of the child by logging on at helsenorge.no. Health information for the child is also available here. Read more about the COVID-19 certificate here.
As a rule of thumb, the parents do not have access to the COVID-19 certificate of a child who has turned 16 years old, unless access has been granted by the child.
16- and 17-year-olds need to obtain an electronic ID, either a BankID, Buypass or Commfides. This will allow them to log in and access their COVID-19 certificate at helsenorge.no. Read more about how adolescents over the age of 16 can log on and access helsenorge.no here (in Norwegian).
Vaccination of children and adolescents
Vaccination for children 5 to 11 years of age
Children 5–11 years will be offered child doses of the vaccine.
They can be vaccinated with both 1 and 2 doses if they and their parents wish. Vaccine is particularly relevant for:
- Children with chronic diseases
- Families where children have close contact with people with particular need for protection
- Children who have an increased risk because they will move to or stay in countries with a higher risk of transmission or poorer access to health services than in Norway, or children who for other reasons live in a very vulnerable situation
Vaccination for children 12 to 15 years of age
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) recommends that vaccination against the coronavirus is offered to 12-15-year-olds. They will be offered two doses of the vaccine.
Parents own the decision on vaccination of their children. Young people aged 12-15 are not of legal age, but should still be heard in decisions related to their own health. Vaccination requires the consent of the person or persons who have parental responsibility.
The practical administration of the vaccination is handled by the municipality.
Vaccination for adolescents 16 and 17 years of age
Young people who are 16 and 17 years old are also offered the vaccine, with two doses. Those over 16 years of age do not need the consent of their parents to take the coronavirus vaccine.
When should children with respiratory tract symptoms stay at home and when can they return to school/kindergarten?
Transmission of a respiratory tract infection typically occurs in the early phase of the disease. This is why it is important that the child stays at home when the first symptoms of a cold or illness appear. Children with newly arisen symptoms of a respiratory tract infection should stay at home. The child can return to school or kindergarten if only mild symptoms are observed and the symptoms disappear after only one day.
After having had a respiratory tract infection, the child can return to kindergarten/ school when the symptoms improve, their general condition is good. The child can return even though residual symptoms such as a runny nose or a slight cough still linger.
Some children, in particular children of kindergarten age, seem to have a runny nose almost continuously. If their general condition is good are otherwise in good form with no other signs of a respiratory tract infection, they do not need to stay at home.
Children with known allergies where the symptoms are recognised as allergy problems may attend kindergarten / school as normal.
If you are concerned about your child, or if symptoms persist, contact your doctor for consultation.