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Where to buy a rapid antigen COVID test for kids in Canada

Parents can now take the hassle out of rapid antigen testing with a range of non-intrusive, child-friendly rapid antigen tests.

Most kids don’t enjoy having things stuffed up their nose, especially when they have flu-like symptoms. Throw a stranger wearing medical scrubs, a mask and gloves into the mix, and you could have a major meltdown on your hands.

The fastest way to know if your child has COVID-19 is to do a rapid antigen test at home. Typically costing between $10 and $20 per test, you can get results in 10-30 minutes rather having to wait for results from a lab.

While home testing is a lot more convenient for families, there’s 1 problem. Sticking a swab deep into the back of a child’s nose is only going to end in tears—remember the feeling from your first test?

Thankfully, shallow nasal and saliva tests are now available from a range of retailers across Canada. These are your easy way out of hours of temper tantrums, waterworks and bribing your little one with sweets or a new toy in exchange for sitting still during testing.

We’ve scoured the Internet for Health Canada approved, kid-friendly shallow nasal and oral COVID tests. You can thank us later.

Where to buy a rapid COVID test for kids in Canada

These COVID tests only need to you to swab the front portion of your child’s nostrils, so you don’t have to stick a long swab all the way to the back of your child’s nose or throat. Samples are easy to process, and test results are available quickly.

Note that rapid antigen tests are only acceptable for travel if taken under the supervision of a medical professional within 1 day of entering or exiting Canada. PCR tests taken within 72 hours of entering or exiting Canada can also be used for proof that you and your child are COVID-free for travelling purposes.

Check out our guide on COVID tests for international travel to learn more.

BTNX Rapid Response Covid-19 Antigen Test Kit

BTNX Rapid Response Covid-19 Antigen Test Kit

IN STOCK

- Delivery: 1-5 business days
- Same-day shipping on all orders placed by 4PM EST
- Antigen test
- Results in 15-20 minutes
- Health Canada approved

  • $45 for 5-pack
  • Free shipping over $99

Buy now

ECOTEST Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit

ECOTEST Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit

IN STOCK

- Delivery: 1-5 business days
- Same-day shipping on all orders placed by 4PM EST
- Antigen test
- Results in 15-20 minutes
- Health Canada approved

  • $12 for 1-pack
  • Free shipping over $99

Buy now

Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test

Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test

IN STOCK
Delivery: 3-7 days

- Antigen test
- Results in 15 minutes
- Health Canada approved

  • $299.99 for 25-pack
  • Free shipping over $99.99

Buy now

BTNX Rapid Test

BTNX Rapid Test

IN STOCK
Delivery: 1-5 days

- Antigen test
- Results in 15 minutes
- Health Canada approved

  • $70 for 5-pack
  • Delivery in 1-5 business days

Buy now

SD Biosensor Rapid Test

SD Biosensor Rapid Test

IN STOCK
Delivery: 1-5 days

- Antigen test
- Results in 15-30 minutes
- Health Canada approved

  • $350 for 25-pack
  • Delivery in 1-5 business days

Buy now

See our reviews of COVID tests that are easy to administer on kids (shallow nasal & oral)

For regular updates on rapid antigen test stock availability, delivery and pricing, see our guide on where to buy rapid antigen tests online.

What is an at-home rapid COVID test for kids?

An at-home rapid COVID test for kids lets you collect a sample from your child’s nose or mouth and test the sample at home to see if COVID-19 is present. These types of tests are highly convenient for busy families with young children.

Most at-home COVID tests are antigen tests, which relies on chemical reactions to determine if COVID is present in a sample. However, some tests like Lucira are molecular tests, which amplify genetic material in a sample until the material is large enough to see if COVID is present.

  • How it works. Samples are placed in an extraction buffer or reagent and tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific virus proteins (also called antigens).
  • What it tests. It tests for a current COVID-19 infection (usually within 15 minutes).
  • How samples are collected. Samples are collected through a nose, throat or oral swab.
  • How long does it take? It usually takes 10-15 minutes to see the results.

How do I know if a rapid antigen test is legitimate?

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) have been available to buy in Canada since October 2020. However, RATs have become more difficult to purchase since the outbreak of the Omicron variant and the rapid rise in case numbers.

It’s also worth noting that all COVID-19 testing kits require approval by Health Canada to be legally supplied in Canada. As of the time of writing, Health Canada has authorized over 100 COVID testing devices. Around 10 of these are for individual self-testing (as opposed to tests that require medical supervision).

Is home testing as effective as going to a clinic?

No. The chief benefit of rapid antigen testing is speed and simplicity, which is essential when testing kids. Unlike PCR testing, a RAT doesn’t need to be administered by a medical professional or sent to a lab for processing. You can do it yourself at home. On the downside, RATs typically have a lower rate of accuracy compared to PCR tests.

How to book a PCR COVID test in Canada

My kid has positive rapid antigen test results. Should I notify someone?

If your child is attending school, you should contact the school authorities to notify them of the results. If you child normally visits somewhere outside the home for extra-curricular activities, tutoring, appointments or anything else, you may need to similarly notify those in charge of the programs in which your child participates.

Learn more about how COVID-19 testing works.

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