18 Jul 2024
Children’s Health care in Sweden
Essentials Expat Support Family Health Pregnancy & Baby

Children’s Health care in Sweden

Nothing is worse than having a sick child. But one thing that will make you feel a little better is knowing that healthcare for children in Sweden is good quality and low cost.

Sweden is seen as one the best place for children’s health care due to its having an extremely low child (0-5) mortality rate. A focus on preventative health care, quality medical services and staff, immunizations, and easy access to medical services contribute to this success.

All children in Sweden have access to free healthcare through federal taxation. They are entitled to regular developmental checks, immunizations, illness care, hospitalization, and dental work. Depending on the municipality, “child” can mean from conception to 25. You’ll have to contact your municipality to know the exact age range but most cover children until they reach 20 years old. And the best part: most services are completely free for children. Prescription medication is the exception. You will need to pay for your child’s medications but it is at a subsidized price.

Routine Healthcare

When your child is under five, you can take them to the Barnavårdscentralen (Children’s Health Center and BVC for short) for development checks. Children only go to the BVC when they are not sick. You will be assigned a nurse at the BVC who will track your child’s weight and height measurements. Children are also assessed here for developmental milestones (such as sitting, first words, stacking blocks, etc.). This is also where your child will get immunizations. You can find information about where your local BVC is located and make an appointment through Vårdguiden. Once your child is over five years old and is in school, preventative health checks and immunizations are provided through a nurse at the school.

Sweden’s Immunization Schedule:

Age Immunization
3 Months DTaP, IPV, Hib, PCV
5 Months DTaP, IPV, Hib, PCV
12 Months DTaP, IPV, Hib, PCV
18 Months MMR
5-6 Years DTaP, IPV
6-8 Years MMR
10 Years DTaP
10-12 Years HPV
12 Years MMR
14-16 Years DTaP


DTap = Diphteria, Tetanus, Pertussis

IPV = Polio

Hib = Haemophilius influenzae type B)

PCV = Pneumococcal disease

MMR = Measles, Mumps, & Rubella

HPV = Human Papilloma Virus


What to do when your child is sick

When your child is sick, you have many options for help. You can call Vårdguiden (Sweden’s Health Guide) at 08 320 100 or visit their website. It is recommended to call Vårdguiden when your child is sick to speak with a pediatric nurse who can give you instructions for care at home or recommend you see a doctor if needed. When you call, you are given three options in Swedish; push #2 on your phone to speak with a pediatric nurse. It is common that you will have to wait on the line for some time for an available nurse. You can speak English to the nurses and they will be able to help you. The service is free and open every day, at all times.

Another option is to call 1177 or go to the website at www.1177.se. This is a national service for medical advice. You can speak with a nurse at this number for advice for caring for your sick child. There is no fee for this service and it is available 24 hours a day, every day.

If you need to take your child to a doctor, follow the advice of the nurse when you call Vårdguiden. You will likely be directed to make an appointment at your regular doctor, pediatric office, or you may be told to go to your nearest emergency room. Before you or child ever gets sick, it is a good idea to stop by your nearest doctors’ office (husläkare ) and register your family. This usually just involves filling out a brief form and selecting a doctor. This will save you time later when you need to make an appointment for a sick child. Again, you can find information about nearby doctors and medical services through Vårdguiden. You can call Vårdguiden at the same number, 08 320 100 and select option #3 to speak with someone about finding medical services in your area. When you go to the doctor’s office, be sure to know your child’s personnummer. The doctor’s visit will be free of charge.

If your child is experiencing an emergency, call 112. This is the general emergency number in Sweden. All operators will be able to speak English with you.


Dental Care

Dental services are also free for children. You can take your child for regular check-ups or for emergency visits. You can visit this website, www.folktandvardenstockholm.se, to learn more about dental services available through Folktandvården (the national dental association). You can register your child and make appointments through the website. In Stockholm, children’s dental care is free until 19 years old.


Article: Jessica Larson

Photo Credit: hubertk


  • Su 8 Feb 2013

    Good article, wish I’d read sonething similar when we first moved here. Worth mentioning that you’ll pay for children’s prescriptions as this can come as a shock to anyone used to the nhs!

  • Jenna 21 Mar 2017

    Very informative. It seems to be a very good child care center with excellent facilities.

  • Diana Florence 13 Nov 2017

    Respected Sir/Madam,
    Greetings from Pediatric Nursing-2018!
    We are organizing 29th International conference on Pediatric Nursing & Healthcare scheduled to take place during August 16-17, 2018 at Madrid, Spain. As we are aware of your organization’s valuable contribution and remarkable efforts in the arena of Pediatric Nursing & Healthcare, it would be our honor to collaborate with your society.
    We would like to solicit your gracious presence as a speaker or Delegate at the upcoming “Pediatric Nursing” conference during August 16-17, 2018 Madrid, Spain. The theme of this conference is “Exploring the Latest Technologies and Novel Advancement in the field of Pediatric Nursing & Healthcare”. Leading world researchers, scientists, academic scientists, society & lab researchers, scholars, decision makers and other professionals gathering in Madrid, Spain to speak at Pediatric Nursing 2018.

    I feel honored to mention that we have the mutual interest in dissemination of the knowledge in the scientific community and Pediatric Nursing -2018 would be the expedient platform to advertise your society and services among the most acclaimed academicians and industry professionals. Since we target similar audience, we can provide each other a useful channel to reach the right audience at the right time. We would like to request kind association of your esteemed society with our conference so that both of us can share some mutual benefits:
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    Best regards,
    Diana Florence
    Program Director
    Pediatric Nursing-2018
    P +1-650-268-9744
    T +1-800-216-6499
    [email protected]

  • OLIVIA GEORGE 30 Jun 2018

    Opportunity to attend/speak at Paediatrics 2018 at Amsterdam,Netherlands on 26-27 july 2018.

  • Hannah Jones 22 Sep 2018

    On behalf of our Organizing Committee, we would like to take the privilege of welcoming you as a Speaker/Delegate/Exhibitor/Sponsor at 30th International Conference on Pediatric Nursing & Healthcare (Pediatric Nursing 2019) during August 19-20, 2019 at Zurich, Switzerland.

    Pediatric Nursing 2019 aims in gathering the eminent research communities catalyzing information exchange and networking between researchers and business entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds, fostering advancements in Pediatric Nursing and Healthcare.

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    N.B: Our organization provides Discount on Group Registrations.

  • Sarah Jones 22 Feb 2019

    Dear Professors/Researchers/Students,
    (Requesting you to share this information among your PhD Scholars, Faculty Members and Students at your prestigious Institute)
    Warm Greetings to you from Genoteq conferences.
    I am happy to share with you that “3rd International Forum on Nursing and Nurse Education” during June 13th-15th, 2019 at Valencia, Spain.
    IFNANE2019 (http://nursingeurope.org/)
    IFNANE 2019 anticipates huge number of participants all around the globe with thought provoking Keynote lectures, Oral and Poster presentations, Symposium and workshops.
    This conference meet with outstanding keynote speakers and well known leading scientists and experts from around the globe will be expected to share their knowledge. I hope this is the best opportunity to actively participate and grab the fundamentals in which is the latest trend in Academics
    In brief following topics are going to be discussed:
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    As we are expecting large number of participants from all around the global for this conference, we are requesting you to kindly register yourself through the above link first, and then later we will inform you regarding payment of Registration Fees etc.,
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  • mireia 19 Aug 2019

    I do not agree, I have been living in Sweden for 4 years, I have a 2-year-old daughter and I have to say that primary medical care in Stockholm is very poor, we feel abandoned when we need to visit a pediatrician.

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