Learn about the types of COVID-19 tests available for kids and when to test
As COVID-19 continues to spread and children have risk of exposure, it’s important to understand when and where you can get your child tested if you think they may have COVID-19. Testing is an important way to reduce the spread of the virus.
Learn about the different types of tests available for kids, if at-home tests are accurate, tips to prepare your child and more from an infectious disease expert at Children’s HealthSM.
When should I get my child tested for COVID‑19?
Getting a COVID‑19 test is an important way to reduce the spread of the virus. You should get your child tested for COVID‑19 in the following situations:
- Your child is showing signs of COVID‑19, such as:
- Fever or chills
- Loss of taste or smell
- Muscle or body aches
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Sore throat
- Vomiting or nausea
- Children should also be tested if they had known or suspected close contact with someone with COVID‑19. Test at least 5 days after they had close contact. Learn more about what to do if your child is exposed to COVID‑19.
- You may also choose to get your child tested if you're concerned about any potential exposure before being around someone who is at high risk for serious illness.
- There may also be times when your child needs to get tested for school, certain activities or travel situations.
Are at-home COVID‑19 tests accurate for kids?
At-home COVID‑19 tests, also known as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests, are an important public health tool. They can be used on children and accurately detect high levels of COVID‑19. Having an at-home COVID‑19 test on hand is helpful to quickly test your child when needed.