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How has Covid-19 impacted children’s mental health?

The pandemic caused by covid-19 has had severe consequences in all spheres of life. Children have also been one of the affected groups in impacting mental health and the future.

The covid-19 pandemic has not only wreaked havoc physically, but also mentally, and children have been among the biggest victims.

According to the study “Child, adolescent and young adult health”carried out by the Merck Salut Foundation, the pandemic has affected young people and children and it is expected that the sequelae will continue to appear throughout the different stages of development.

Thus, experiencing adverse life events before the age of five is associated with negative sequelae long-term effects on health, education and interpersonal relationships.

And although during childhood the symptoms of stress may not be observable, they could appear later.

How does this situation affect children’s development?

Children who were already a population at risk because they suffered from some mental disorder, developmental disorder, adverse behavior… will be the ones who suffer the most from the pandemic.

As the study shows, social encounters are decisive in our development. And in early childhood, the family environment is the great provider of the emotional bond and care we need for growth.

Social isolation, as well as interventions such as the use of masks and physical distance (measures to control covid) have had negative effects in children’s development.

According to the report, the pandemic has profoundly altered development by dismantling social contact at all ages.

What are the repercussions for school and education?

Although schools instituted online education, not all families had the necessary resources, further widening the gap between advantaged students and those with special educational needs.

Covid children impact
EFE/Ángel Medina G.

Effects on physical and mental health

The closure of sports and play spaces led to a decrease in daily physical activity, an increase in the use of screens, an increase in snacking and, therefore, weight gain.

Vulnerable children due to medical pathologies saw limited access to their treatments both at the Health Services and at the Early Care Centers, which also had a negative impact on their treatment. Health i development.

Impact on mental health

As stated in the report, after the pandemic the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression i anxiety.

Generalized anxiety, major depression, and adjustment disorders increased by one 90% about. They have also done it obsessions due to contamination, cleaning compulsions and avoidant behaviors.

The behavioral problemss have become more acute, and the population with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) speech therapy or therapy interventions were reduced, exacerbating the situation.

On the other hand, the eating disorders they have also increased, accompanied by late diagnoses due to the reduction of controls in Primary Care.

In this way, the negative effects on the mental health of the little ones have been evidenced. The same study indicates that children born during the pandemic already show a decrease in cognitive performance.

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