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Does Your Child Need a COVID Test? Here’s What to Do

Child sneezing into a tissue

If you think your child has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone who has, it’s important to get a COVID-19 test.

If your child has mild symptoms, such as a runny nose or body aches, call your pediatrician. He or she can recommend next steps about care and testing. Be sure to keep children home if they have symptoms unless directed otherwise by the pediatrician. Johns Hopkins Medicine has testing sites, which require an appointment and a referral.

COVID-19 testing is not offered in the emergency department to patients who have no COVID-19 symptoms. Go to the emergency department only if your child is showing symptoms that may require emergency care, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing or catching their breath
  • Inability to keep down any liquids
  • New confusion or inability to awaken
  • Bluish lips

If your child has mild symptoms or no symptoms, but needs to get a COVID-19 test, consider scheduling a test at a state or local COVID testing site. If you are concerned your child has COVID-19, please remember to keep your child at home and away from others until test results confirm whether he or she has COVID-19.

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