A guide for children and young people

At the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) we know that being able to find information about Coronavirus is really important for children and young people.

We’ve worked with our Youth Advisory Board to create this page to make it easy for children and young people in the UK to find what they need.

Events are changing fast. We will try and keep this page updated as often as we can, with new resources and new opportunities.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a virus that causes a disease called Covid-19. It affects people’s breathing and lungs. It can be spread from person to person by coughing or by touching surfaces or areas of skin that have been contaminated by the virus. You can find more information here.

One of the ways you can protect yourself and others is washing your hands properly. Check out Leena’s tips for handwashing.

It’s the job of the Children’s Commissioners to understand what children and young people think about things that affect them and encouraging decision makers to always take their best interests into account.

The Children’s Commissioners across the UK have all set up Coronavirus resource hubs. You can find the information they’ve created here:

You can find the UK Government’s guidance on shielding, written for young people, here.

What can you do?

Use your voice

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to use their voices and for them to have influence in decisions that affect their lives (article 12). We’re all having to do things differently in order to stay healthy. We’re adapting and finding new ways to do things. This includes finding new ways to make sure your voice is heard during this challenging time:

  • Join Voices of Youth: our global platform for young people, by young people.  Young people all over the world are sharing how they’re feeling and how they’re managing during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Download and use our Coronavirus Toolkit – for young people to spread awareness and take action

Keep in touch online

We are working hard to make sure efforts to protect us all from Coronavirus consider the impact on children and young people:

  • You can keep up to date with what we’re doing by following us on Twitter and Instagram.
  • The UN Youth Envoy, Unicef and WHO are organising webinars for young people all over the world to explore how the Coronavirus is affecting their mental health, called #CopingwithCovid. Find out more here.

Coronavirus is affecting all us in some way

Hearing about the Coronavirus pandemic everyday can be overwhelming: if you’re feeling worried, you might find the information Young Minds have put together helpful.  If you need to talk:

  • Childline has people you can talk to at any time of day about any worries that you have. They’ll listen to you about what you have to say.
  • The Mix is another place set up to help young people with any issue they’re facing.
  • In an emergency, call 999.
Using video calls to keep in touch with friends
Coronavirus art by youth
Doing schoolwork at home
A Nurse checks a child's temperature
A young person's self-portrait photograph
Doing schoolwork at home
Young people are using Voices of Youth to speak up. Credit: Kaninica, 12, India
Doing schoolwork at home in Rwanda
Using video calls to keep in touch with friends
Doing schoolwork at home in Syria
Young people are using Voices of Youth to express themselves. Credit: Claudia, 18, Germany - inspired by an illustration by Leon Schenke.
Doing schoolwork at home in America
A Nurse helps a child in Lebanon
A young person's self-portrait photograph. Credit: Sophia, 16, USA
Doing schoolwork at home
Young people are using Voices of Youth to speak up

Learn more

CBBC Newsround have some resources about Coronavirus.

First News publish a weekly newspaper for children and young people.