Health

Do pandemic changes have a long-term negative impact on a child’s mental health?

Serena McNiff
Health Day Reporter

Friday, June 12, 2020 (HealthDay News)-The coronavirus pandemic isolation can impede the social growth of young children, experts say.

Schools were closed nationwide this spring, COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection)Children have been deprived of essential experiences of emotional development, such as playing during breaks, sharing lunch with classmates, and learning together in the classroom.

recently HealthDay Live! Interview, Center Director, Dr. Dimitri Cristakis Child health, The Behavior and Development of the Seattle Children’s Institute, and Dan Domenech, Executive Director of the School Supervisors Association, discussed how children would be affected by the closure of schools and the disruption of time spent with peers.

Humans are “social animals” and the restrictions placed on social interactions during a pandemic can be harmful. mental healthThey said, especially among the children.

“We didn’t evolve because of this kind of interaction,” explained Christakis. “You can see it in young children. Six-month-old babies accompany another baby. They want to be socially involved with them. Therefore, withhold them all from them. The thing is, at least, to get them to pay the price. Period. “

When the school opens, Christakis and Domenech will tell teachers and managers mental health Concerns among their students.

“We are working to educate and train teachers to emotionally accept students and let them talk about their experiences, even if they do not physically accept them,” Domenech said. Said.

Still, Christakis added that the situation is unprecedented and it is difficult to say exactly how the long-term effects of this isolation period will affect children.

Children who experience loneliness and isolation may be more likely to develop depression Recently, according to 63 studies and reviews of more than 51,000 participants Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry..

A British researcher in this review, led by Maria Elizabeth Loades of the University of Bath, found that loneliness is associated with mental health problems up to nine years later, with longer periods of loneliness being a more reliable indicator of future mental health problems. I found that.

To combat current and future distress, Kristakis and Domenech advised parents and teachers to prioritize the emotional needs of their children.

“It is more important to address the emotional needs of students, not necessarily their academic loss. Academic losses can be corrected over time, but with their emotional learning. trauma What they are receiving is the key. “

What can parents have a hard time supporting their children during the summer?

Christakis advised parents to take full advantage of every opportunity for their children to interact directly with other children, keeping in mind local public health recommendations. Due to the different parts of the country at different stages of the pandemic, some parents may be able to act more on this advice, depending on where they live.

“We need to eliminate the lack of social learning,” said Christakis. “Children will need more time outdoors with their Playmates. [summer] Camps are open where you live and you have the resources. I will make it available to your children and try to support them as much as possible during the summer. “

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References

Source: June 5, 2020, HealthDay Live! Interviews: Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and Dan Domenech, Executive Director, The School Superintendents Association; June 3, 2020 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,online

Do pandemic changes have a long-term negative impact on a child’s mental health?

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