Skip to main content
State of Wisconsin flag

Official website of the State of Wisconsin

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

COVID-19: Resources for Parents and Guardians

Parents with their two children

This page connects parents and guardians with information and resources to support their family’s health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that some people may not have the resources and privileges that allow them to engage in some prevention strategies.

Follow the tips on this page, as much as you are able, to protect your child against COVID-19.

Keep your child healthy, safe, and in school

  • Get your child vaccinated. Updated COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone ages 6 months and older. Updated COVID-19 vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19. Make sure your family is up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Stay home when sick. Keeping your child home when they are sick helps stop the spread of COVID-19. Work with your school on virtual learning options for your child if they feel well enough to continue learning but are unable to be physically present in the classroom.
  • Make sure your child wears a mask or respirator in counties with a High COVID-19 Community Level if they are 2 years or older. Masks and respirators continue to be an effective strategy to prevent COVID-19 infection so continue to wear one if it makes you feel safer, regardless of your county’s COVID-19 Community Level.
  • Get your child tested for COVID-19. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested and stay home while they wait for results, regardless of their vaccination status. If your child is exposed to COVID-19, they should get tested at least five days after exposure. See options for COVID-19 testing.
  • As a parent or guardian, get your vaccine and booster dose. COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses help keep you from getting severely sick, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • Be sure to check your area's COVID-19 community level when making decisions for your family.

Protect your child with the COVID-19 vaccine

Give your child the best protection against COVID-19 by keeping them up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Over 25 million vaccine doses have been administered to adolescents and the data continues to show that the COVID-19 vaccine and booster are safe and effective.
  • COVID-19 vaccines have undergone the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
  • Results from vaccine safety monitoring efforts show that serious safety problems are rare.
  • Long term side effects from any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine, are extremely unlikely.
  • Scientific data has shown that COVID-19 boosters strengthen protection against Omicron and other COVID-19 variants.

Know what to expect at your child's vaccination visit

  • Most vaccination sites may require vaccine recipients under 18 years old to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Some vaccinators accept written or verbal (such as via telephone) consent to administer the COVID-19 vaccine from the child’s legal parent or guardian.
  • Your child can get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other routine vaccinations.
  • After your child gets a COVID-19 vaccine, they will be observed for at least 15 minutes. If they experience any immediate reactions, medical staff will be available to help right away.
  • Shortly after your child gets their first dose, they may experience mild side effects, such as fever, chills, and pain or swelling on the arm that got the vaccine. These are common signs that their immune system is strengthening its response to the virus.
  • It is important to stay up to date with all COVID-19 vaccines for maximum protection. Mark your schedule so you know when to come back for the next dose.

Tips on how to be there for your child during vaccinations, P-03126

Get more tips on how to be there for your child during vaccinations.

Parent conversations keeping kids safe and in school

Parents can use the following resources to start conversations with local school leaders and other key decision-makers.

 Key messages

Communicating your concerns with your local school leaders can make a big difference.

  • Wisconsin families know schools are a safe place for kids to learn and grow. Multiple studies have shown COVID-19 transmission rates within school settings are typically lower than, or similar to, community transmissions when multiple prevention strategies are in place. When we keep our schools safe, we keep our kids and their teachers safe.
  • Protecting against exposure to COVID-19 and new variants is essential. Schools need to work with local public health officials to monitor community transmission and any other metrics that can help guide decisions on how to best protect students, staff, volunteers, and any school visitors.
  • Our community needs a multi-layer strategy for continuing in-person school. If everyone does their part, in-school learning can continue, and children can continue to learn in the most productive and safe way possible.
  • School safety is essential to the well-being of our broader community. Communities showing a strong focus on school safety have been linked to lower transmission rates — easing the burden on local health care systems and community resources.

 Social media

Post these graphics and share these messages to start conversations with your followers on COVID-19 safety and the importance of helping our kids stay safe and in school. Images are sized for easy use on your social media channels.

  • Vaccinations keep our children safe and in school.
  • We’re fighting COVID-19 by vaccinating our kids!
  • The best protection for your kids from COVID-19 is to vaccinate them. It works. It’s free. It keeps kids in school.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine for your kids.
  • My kid is staying healthy and safe with a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • My kid is helping keep all kids safe. COVID-19 vaccines are free and effective.

Our decision? The vaccine for kids.

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

  • We talked to our family doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids. It helped!
  • Ask your pediatrician about COVID-19 vaccines for kids.
  • Don’t take my word for it, ask your pediatrician. COVID-19 vaccines work for your kids.
  • My pediatrician knows, and now I know…COVID-19 vaccines work for your kids.
  • Kids + COVID-19 vaccinations = safer schools. Get the facts from your pediatrician.

Our decision? To learn more.

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

  • I keep my kids home from school when they’re sick. We’re doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • I get my kids tested when they show symptoms. We’re doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • I get my kids tested if they’re exposed to COVID-19. We’re doing our part to stop the spread.

 Talking tips

Children are exposed to so many sources of information regarding COVID-19, from their friends and social media to the conversations they overhear on TV and between adults. Make sure what they hear is reliable and accurate. Here are some tips that can help make talking with the kids in your life about COVID-19 easier. Get tips for talking to kids about COVID-19 safety below or view the Tips for Talking to Kids About COVID-19 Safety fact sheet (PDF)

Ask questions geared to their age level. For younger children, you could say, “Do you have questions about COVID-19?” This gives you a chance to learn how much kids know — and to find out if they’re hearing the wrong information. Follow their lead. Some kids may want to spend time talking. But if your kids don’t seem interested or don’t ask a lot of questions, that’s OK.

  • Focus on helping kids feel safe, but be truthful. Don’t offer more detail than your child is interested in. If the topic doesn’t come up, there’s no need to raise it.
  • If they ask about something and you don’t know the answer, say so. Use the question as a chance to find out together. Check the Department of Health Services (DHS) website for up-to-date, reliable information about COVID-19. That way, you have the facts and kids don’t see headlines about deaths and other scary information.
  • Speak calmly and reassuringly. Kids pick up on it when parents worry. So when you talk about COVID-19 and the news, use a calm voice and try not to seem upset.
  • Give kids space to share their fears. It’s natural for kids to worry, “Could I be next? Could that happen to me?” Let your child know that kids don’t seem to get as sick as adults. Let them know they can always come to you for answers or to talk about what scares them.
  • Know when they need guidance. Be aware of how your kids get news and information, especially older kids who go online. Point them to age appropriate content so they don’t end up finding news shows or outlets that scare them or have incorrect information.

  • Give children specific things to do to feel in control. Teach kids that getting lots of sleep and washing their hands well and often can help them stay strong and healthy. Explain that regular hand washing also helps stop viruses from spreading to others. Be a good role model and let your kids see you washing your hands often!
  • Talk about all the things that are happening to keep people safe and healthy. Young kids might be reassured to know that hospitals and doctors are prepared to treat people who get sick. Talk about the vaccines that people are getting to protect against the virus. These talks also help kids manage changes to their normal routine.
  • Put news stories in context. If they ask, explain that serious illness and death in kids from the virus is still rare, despite what they might hear. Watch the news with your kids so you can filter what they hear.
  • Reassure kids about their loved ones’ safety. Children and teens often worry more about family and friends than themselves. For example, if kids hear that older people are more likely to be seriously ill, they might worry about their grandparents. Letting them visit, call, or video chat with older relatives can help them feel reassured about their loved ones.
  • Let kids know that it’s normal to feel stressed out at times. Everyone does. Recognizing these feelings and knowing that stressful times pass, and life gets back to normal can help children build resilience.

  • Keep checking in with the kids in your life. Use talking about COVID-19 as a way to help kids learn about their bodies, like how the immune system fights disease.
  • Talk about current events with children often. It’s important to help them think through stories they hear about. Ask questions: What do you think about these events? How do you think these things happen? Such questions also encourage conversation about non-news topics.

 Email template

Parent leaders can use the email template below to express concerns about COVID-19 with school administrators or district board members.

Subject line: Parent's COVID-19 Concerns


I am the parent of [NUMBER OF CHILDREN/CHILD] at [SCHOOL NAME]. Like many other parents in the district, I know how important in-school instruction is but worry about the spread of COVID-19. I was recently looking at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and it had a page with some great tips on how schools can support COVID-19 vaccination – I’ve included the link below. I would really love to see some of these steps taken in our schools to help better educate parents on the importance of being vaccinated. It is our best defense, so I’ve put together some thoughts on how to make them available to all eligible families:

  • Have teacher workshops or staff meetings specifically to promote vaccine facts and information on how/where to get one.
  • Have a school nurse send an email to parents/guardians with vaccine facts and how/where to get one.
  • Set up and promote a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at school.
  • Invite a trusted health care provider to speak to the PTA or at school board meetings to answer questions about COVID-19 and vaccines.
  • Share information on vaccination sites or events through the school website, emails to parents, newsletters, or other communication channels.
  • Share information to dispel vaccine myths and misinformation.
  • Implement and promote additional safety measure such as staying home when sick, testing, regular handwashing, etc.

We all know how important it is to keep schools open for in-school learning. I think utilizing some of these suggestions can help.

Thank you for your consideration. I hope you’ll visit the CDC’s School Support Ideas page




Resources and materials to support your family's health and well-being

 Preventative Care

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.


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.

Fact sheets
Videos to share

Share or embed videos on staying safe and in school on your own social media channels. See our full video playlist.

 Mental Health

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.

Logo for Resilient Wisconsin: Connected. Stronger. Thriving.
Featured tools and resources

Check out the Office of Children’s Mental Health’s list of organizations that provide support to families throughout the state.

Find a vaccine appointment

There are many places you can go to get a COVID-19 vaccine for yourself or your child. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. You do not need an ID or insurance to get one.

Find an appointment

Adult holding glass watching another adult showing a child how to play a ukulele outdoors

211 Wisconsin

Call 211 or 877-947-2211 to get referrals for thousands of services across Wisconsin. For COVID-19 questions, text COVID to 211-211. Language assistance is available.

Resilient Wisconsin

Get help learning how to manage stress and adapt to change with services and support from organizations across the state.

Helpful resources

Find help with housing, income, food, employment, health care, mental health concerns, safety at home, and more—in multiple languages.
Last revised December 22, 2022