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Impact of Covid-19 on children’s mental and psychosocial well-being

Published on:9 May 2021, 09:30am IST
Covid-19 can have a significant impact on the mental and psychosocial well-being of children. But as always, we have a solution. Read on to know more about some tips to deal better with the situation.
Dr Prashant Moralwar
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Covid-19 third wave
Give all the support you can to your children. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The covid-19 pandemic has been troublesome for adults as well as children. It has also taken a toll on the mental and psychosocial well-being of children. But worry not, here are a few foolproof tips for parents to de-stress your children during the pandemic.

It has been over a year, and yet the entire world continues to fight the virus.  Patterns are repeating just like 2020, and once again, the lockdown has been imposed in many states across India. People are advised to stay home and keep themselves protected during the second wave of covid-19. 

The impact of covid-19 on children
  • The lockdown has negatively impacted the mental, behavioral, developmental, learning, and psychosocial well-being of children. The closure of schools has restricted children to interact only with their family members.
  • Children are lost, feel lonely, confused, frustrated, stressed, anxious, paranoid, and depressed as they are unable to venture out of the house, meet their friends, go on a vacation or spend quality time with friends and other family members. 
  • Parents struggle to explain to children about the current situation. Thus, parents or caregivers will be unable to provide much-needed care to children. 
  • Children also have easy access to social media, and may read some disturbing information that is not true. This will surely lead to emotional disturbances in children.
  • Those children who are in quarantine or isolation can become aggressive, violent, and can even have a disconnect with others. 
  • Children will express their anger in different ways by shouting, throwing things, or being violent. They may also become silent or hyperactive.
  • Children will find it difficult to sleep, eat or concentrate on studies. They will be dependent on their parents, have nightmares, complain of headache or stomach ache, become sad, clingy, or show lack of interest in daily activities. They may also cry for no reason.
impact of covid-19 on children
The covid-19 pandemic can take a toll on the mental and psychosocial well-being of children. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Know what parents or caregivers can do
  • Parents will have to understand the emotional needs of children, make them aware of the current pandemic, help them gather information from reliable sources, and see to it that the children do not fall prey to rumours.
  • Recognize the red flags and provide help to your children.
  • Divert your child’s attention by not reading or watching covid-related news. Instead of that, watch educational documentaries, comedy shows, or science-based movies with your children.
  • Help your child perform activities that he/she likes. It could be painting, dancing, gardening, solving puzzles, reading, or playing with them.
  • Listen to what your children say and do not ignore them. Make them understand whatever you have to, without scolding them or raising your hand.
  • Comfort and calm down your children. Ask them to do yoga, meditation, exercise, or simply praise them, when they do a good job. Give your children responsibilities at home and reward them, once they complete their duties.
  •  Assure your children that you will protect them and safeguard them from the virus by adhering to the covid protocols.
  • Make sure your child eats properly and try to include all the essential nutrients in the diet.

Dr Prashant Moralwar Dr Prashant Moralwar

Dr Prashant Moralwar, Consultant Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar