Question & Answer

Are children at less risk of contracting COVID-19 than adults?

Click image to download
  • Scientists, policy-makers and the public have been wondering whether children are at the same risk from COVID-19 as adults.
  • Just like adults, children of all ages can get very sick from COVID-19 and can have both short- and long-term health problems.
  • However, systematic reviews suggest that, compared to adults, children and adolescents have milder and fewer COVID-19 infections and generally have good outcomes.
  • The presentation of symptoms in children varies. The majority who are diagnosed have mild symptoms and many don’t have any symptoms at all, which we call ‘asymptomatic’.
  • The HSE recommend that children and their caregivers follow the current recommendations to prevent COVID-19 including: getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a face mask in certain settings, and washing hands regularly and properly.

Things to Remember


  • Lead Researcher: Dr. KM Saif-Ur-Rahman, Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland, University of  Galway
  • Reviewed by: Prof. Declan Devane, School of Nursing and Midwifery, HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, Evidence Synthesis Ireland & Cochrane Ireland, University of  Galway
  • Topic Advisor: Prof. Susan Smith, Professor of General Practice, Discipline of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin and General Practitioner in Inchicore Family Doctors, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Public and Patient Advisor: Ms Anne Daly, PPI Ignite, University of Galway
  • Journalist Advisor: Dr. Claire O’Connell, Contributor, The Irish Times

Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors have no financial or other conflicts of interest for this health claim summary.