This page connects parents and guardians with resources to support their family’s health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because COVID-19 is still spreading in our communities, all of us have a role to play in keeping Wisconsin children healthy and safe.
Did you know?
Children can get sick with COVID-19 and can spread it to others, even if they do not have symptoms. Many children who get COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all. However, some children get very sick. These children may require hospitalization or be placed on a ventilator to help them breathe. In rare cases, they may die.
Medical experts are still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19 in children. One rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), is being closely investigated.
Is your child eligible for the vaccine? If your child is 12 years or older, they are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Learn more about vaccinating your child who is age 12 or older.
Children at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
Babies under 1 year old might be more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19. Other children, regardless of age, with underlying medical conditions might also be at increased risk of severe illness compared to other children. If your child has an underlying condition, make sure to discuss your child’s risk for getting very sick with their health care provider and take steps to protect your child from COVID-19.
Stop the spread of COVID-19 in children
We recognize that some people may not have the resources and privileges that allow them to engage in some prevention practices. Follow these steps as much as you are able to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Get your child vaccinated when they are eligible. By being vaccinated, they have a far lower risk of getting severely sick, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19. Currently, if your child is 12 years or older, they are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for use in people ages 18 and older. Learn more about vaccinating your child who is age 12 or older.
- As a parent or guardian, get vaccinated. All adults in Wisconsin are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. You can help protect your child by getting vaccinated. Vaccinated parents with unvaccinated children should still follow the recommended precautions when in public and ensure their child follows all public health recommendations. Only gather with one other fully vaccinated household at a time.
- Encourage your child to cover their coughs and sneezes. Show your child how to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of their elbow.
- Help your child wear a mask when in public and around people they don’t live with if they are 2 or more years old.
- Make sure your child washes their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or that they use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Keep your child at least 6 feet away from others who don’t live with them and those who are sick. Help keep unvaccinated kids safe by having them play outdoors when possible, ensuring those old enough to wear masks do so, and limiting the number of other kids they regularly interact with in person. Consider connecting virtually with other children if that option is available to you.
- Get your child tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or if they come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- Keep your child home if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Follow isolation and quarantine instructions.
Resources and materials to support your family's health and well-being
Routine Preventative Care
Even though children younger than 12 years cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine right now, make sure they are up-to-date on vaccines that protect them from many other diseases. Be sure to schedule routine childhood health care visits. These visits help prevent other conditions and illnesses and ensure your child is healthy. At a routine childhood health care visit, your child may receive childhood vaccines, weight and height check-ups, nutrition counseling, anemia and lead testing, support for language development and more.
- Vaccine Information and Schedules vaccine information for babies, children, and teens.
Health Care Providers
- Finding a Health Care Facility or Care Provider: helpful information and how to find and choose a health care provider.
Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus
Take simple steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and loved ones from COVID-19. Your actions can help protect everyone in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Resources
- COVID-19: Resources for Parents and Guardians: provides information for keeping children safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19 Vaccine: provides detailed information about the COVID-19 vaccine and its safety and effectiveness
- Options for Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccination: outlines the options to choose from when getting the COVID-19 vaccine
- Returning to School After COVID-19: Information for Parents and Guardians: answers commonly asked questions about children returning to school after becoming sick with COVID-19
- COVID-19: Isolation and Quarantine: provides detailed information about the difference between isolation and quarantine
- Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions: answers the commonly asked questions about quarantine
Additional DHS resources and materials available in multiple languages
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources
Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Children: a webpage that lists ways to protect children from getting and spreading COVID-19
Coping With COVID-19: an activity book to help children cope with COVID-19 and its related effects
- Board Game for Children: a family-friendly board game with tips for a healthy school year (recommended for children ages 6-12 years old)
There’s no time like the present to take care of yourself and your family. That’s a lot easier said than done with all that’s currently going on. The tools and resources available through Resilient Wisconsin can help.
Featured tools and resources:
- Feelings Thermometer: a visual tool that helps you (kids and adults) measure how you are doing emotionally and what steps you can take to shift your mood when things are getting tough.
- Accessing Children's Mental Health Services guide: Accessing children's mental health services is hard. This resource provides a simple way to understand how families can find help for their children. Available in English, Spanish, and Hmong.
Mental Health Conditions
Screen Time Advice for Parents
Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
- In This Together: Understanding the Effects of Collective Trauma (Resilient Wisconsin)
- Adverse Childhood Experiences
Additional Support for Families
Check out the Office of Children’s Mental Health’s list of organizations that provide support to families throughout the state.