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Media release - Caring for tamariki and rangatahi at home with COVID-19

Media Releases

The number of tamariki and rangatahi affected by COVID-19 in New Zealand continues to rise, with many people managing the disease at home. So, how do you manage a child sick with COVID at home?

Maori Paediatrician Dr Owen Sinclair says, “COVID-19 in most children is a mild illness and can be managed by their whānau with some of those simple measures like keeping fluids up and keeping an eye on them.

“A small number will become more unwell and need extra care from their doctor, or in hospital. Children that are very lethargic, children that are drinking less than half of their normal amount of fluid, children that have significant breathing difficulty, or if they have pain or distress that’s not settling with simple measures like paracetamol or ibuprofen, in those cases people should seek assistance.

“Emergency services should be kept free for those who really need them. If the child is very unwell call Healthline or 111 if they’re deteriorating rapidly.”

A video on the KidsHealth website runs through the common symptoms, how to treat a child with fever, how to minimise spread in your household, and when to see a doctor.

The video is aimed at caregivers of children who have been to the Starship Children’s Emergency Department but it is relevant to caregivers of children throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Further information about COVID-19 and children is being regularly updated on


For more information please contact Ally Clelland, Communications Manager, Paediatric Society of NZ on 022 044 2161

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