COVID-19 & Back to School

covid-19-girl-wearing-mask

COVID-19 has had a major impact on how we live our lives worldwide. Aside from the danger of the virus itself, the side effects of pandemic life are having major, lasting effects on everyone including our children.

What are the side effects?

Here are some specifics according to Unicef.org:

  • As many as 1 in 3 children have been unable to access their classes through remote learning
  • There has been a noticeable increase in child poverty and poverty overall
  • Quarantine has led to feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety
  • A 14% rise worldwide in acute malnutrition and wasting in children

How do we keep kids safe as they head back to school this year?

  • Continue to social distance and utilize outdoor spaces for gatherings when possible and encourage your children to do the same
  • Encourage kids to avoid high traffic areas and high touch surfaces whenever possible
  • Encourage kids to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer consistently throughout the day especially if they have touched an un-sanitized surface
  • If your child shows any symptoms, keep them home in order to avoid exposing other children while you wait for test results
  • Talk with your child’s doctor about mask use and vaccination to come up with a game plan that works for you and your family, especially if your child is higher risk
  • Pay attention to signs of anxiety and depression in children (see below) and, if present, reach out to their school or try to find a child therapist in your area
  • Make sure your student is eating well and continuing to be physically active

Signs of Anxiety & Depression in Children, According to HealthyChildren.org:

  • Infants, Toddlers, & Young Children
    • Increased irritability and fussiness with or without increased crying
    • Struggles with quality sleep
    • Tummy troubles
    • Separation anxiety
    • An increase in tantrums, hitting and/or biting
    • Bedwetting
    • Conflict and Aggression during play
    • Dark themes during play like illness or death
  • Older Children & Adolescents
    • Unusual mood swings, hopelessness, rage
    • Increased conflicts with family and friends
    • Distinct behavior changes especially if they withdraw from friends
    • Loss of interest in activities they like
    • Struggles with sleep
    • Changes in appetite
    • Problems with concentration or memory
    • Noticeable change in academic performance
    • Changes in appearance or grooming habits
    • Increase in risky behaviors
    • Suicidal ideation (Get help immediately if your child mentions thoughts of suicide)

For information on how the pandemic has affected adults, please see our previous blog by clicking here

Leave a Reply