The effects of COVID-19 on children
Ever since the pandemic has begun it has been difficult for everybody. However, for children who are still so young and discovering the world, it might be all confusing and perhaps cannot fathom what is happening or what the consequences can be. In this article I am going to dive deeper into how COVID-19 has impacted the children.
Let’s start with the place where children are usually to be found, which is school. Many countries around the world announced a lockdown, meaning that in some countries schools are closed and all the children are at home. First the children might have been excited about this since there is ‘no school’. Studies have shown that the children who do not go to school anymore after a long period of time get agitated, getting distracted easier, lonelier, clingy and, in line with COVID-19 effects, more worried about family members. The latter has to do with the constant information flow of the media. Hearing numbers rise every day, the numbers of people dying, it makes them worry about their family members not being safe enough or not being protected enough. One of the downfalls of children right now is that, with an early development there is limited understanding regarding COVID-19, as well as their own feelings. Children have not learned yet, why they are feeling a certain way or why they are reacting in a certain way. Feelings such as anxiety, depression might be too hard to understand for children, yet it is possible for them to feel this way. Therefore, it is important for them to express their feelings and talk about the way they feel.
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Furthermore, beside extra curricular activities they might have, school is one of the main activities and constants in their life. Without this constant, it can turn a child’s life upside down unconsciously. For example, the social part that was first very prominent in children’s life is now suddenly gone. With all these changes happening, it might go too fast for children and do not understand or comprehend what is going on. With no social interaction at all or very limited, it is this reason that children are more easily agitated or being too clingy. With no one around children hold on to the people closest to them. How the children will react is up to them, it is therefore of importance to speak about feelings and thoughts.
Another consequence of COVID-19 for children is more screen time. With nothing to do and plenty of online entertainment, this is the easiest way for children to entertain themselves and stay social. On the one hand this can be a positive thing, staying in touch with their family and friends has never been so easy. However, on the other hand, misinformation, sensational stories and more can have a negative effect on the children. It has always been important to have regulated hours and certain sites accessible to the children, especially during corona time it is important to keep it this way.
The anxiety level around children is very high at the moment. As mentioned earlier, due to more access to information by news outlets, media and more. Children are being exposed to an increasing number of information that would otherwise never be available. These anxiety levels can be damaging in the long run when the parents are not looking out for the signs. These signs could be expressed in an emotional way, or the way they behave. Furthermore, the anxiety level they are experiencing right now can have a lasting effect. For example, later on when everybody has been vaccinated and things are back to normal again, these children can still be very vulnerable and panicking about the fact that COVID-19 might come back. Thus, having a lasting effect of anxiety due to COVID-19.
In conclusion, COVID-19 did us a lot of harm and the children can feel it too. After a year living in a pandemic it has not been easy. Look out for the signs, which have been mentioned earlier and talk to your children about how they feel, it will help tremendously. This way we can all help each other through this tough time.
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