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1.
Arq. ciências saúde UNIPAR ; 27(2): 684-700, Maio-Ago. 2023.
Article in Portuguese | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-20240059

ABSTRACT

O objetivo do estudo foi comparar a percepção sobre a massa corporal, comportamentos relacionados à saúde, e a saúde mental de escolares adolescentes durante o período de retorno às atividades escolares presenciais com o período anterior à pandemia de COVID-19. O estudo foi realizado com 425 escolares (16,96±1,39 anos; 60,2% do sexo feminino) selecionados aleatoriamente de escolas das redes pública e privada de Pelotas/RS. Para a coleta dos dados foi utilizado um questionário de autopreenchimento contendo perguntas retrospectivas e atuais sobre as variáveis analisadas. Os resultados indicaram que a percepção sobre a massa corporal, o nível de atividade física, o tempo de sono, e a saúde mental (apenas para as meninas) estão piores (p<0,05) no momento atual quando comparados ao período anterior à pandemia. Por outro lado, hábitos alimentares e tempo de tela recreativo apresentaram melhores resultados (p<0,05) no momento atual do que no período anterior à pandemia. Estes resultados mostram um complexo panorama em relação à saúde de adolescentes no período de retomada das atividades presencias, tornando o retorno às atividades escolares presenciais um desafio para os próprios adolescentes, seus familiares, para professores, e para as escolas.


The aim of this study was to compare the perception of body mass, health- related behaviors and mental health of adolescent schoolchildren during the period of return to face to face school activities with the period before COVID-19 pandemic. The study was carried out with 425 students (16.96±1.39 years; 60.2% female) randomly selected from public and private schools in Pelotas/RS. For data collection, a self-completion questionnaire was used, containing retrospective and current questions about analyzed outcomes. The results indicated that the perception of body mass, level of physical activity, sleep time, and mental health (only for girls) are worse (p<0.05) at present when compared to the period before the pandemic. On the other hand, eating habits and recreational screen time showed better results (p<0.05) at present than in the period before the pandemic. These results show a complex panorama concerning the health of adolescents in the period of resumption of face to face activities, making this return a challenge for the adolescents themselves, their families, teachers and for schools.


El objetivo de este estudio fue comparar la percepción de masa corporal, comportamientos relacionados a la salud y salud mental de escolares adolescentes durante el período de retorno a las actividades escolares presenciales con el período anterior a la pandemia de COVID-19. El estudio fue realizado con 425 alumnos (16,96±1,39 años; 60,2% del sexo femenino) seleccionados aleatoriamente de escuelas públicas y privadas de Pelotas/RS. Para la recolección de datos, se utilizó un cuestionario auto-completado, conteniendo preguntas retrospectivas y actuales sobre los resultados analizados. Los resultados indicaron que la percepción de la masa corporal, el nivel de actividad física, el tiempo de sueño y la salud mental (sólo para las niñas) son peores (p<0,05) en la actualidad en comparación con el período anterior a la pandemia. Por otro lado, los hábitos alimentarios y el tiempo de pantalla recreativo mostraron mejores resultados (p<0,05) en la actualidad que en el periodo anterior a la pandemia. Estos resultados muestran un panorama complejo en relación a la salud de los adolescentes en el período de reanudación de las actividades presenciales, haciendo de este retorno un desafío para los propios adolescentes, sus familias, profesores y para las escuelas.


Subject(s)
Humans , Male , Female , Adolescent , Young Adult , Schools , Students , Adolescent Health , Pandemics , COVID-19 , Sleep , Exercise/psychology , Body Mass Index , Mental Health , Cross-Sectional Studies , Adolescent Behavior , Feeding Behavior/psychology , Screen Time , Sleep Duration
2.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286734, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241063

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Schools close in reaction to seasonal influenza outbreaks and, on occasion, pandemic influenza. The unintended costs of reactive school closures associated with influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI) has not been studied previously. We estimated the costs of ILI-related reactive school closures in the United States over eight academic years. METHODS: We used prospectively collected data on ILI-related reactive school closures from August 1, 2011 to June 30, 2019 to estimate the costs of the closures, which included productivity costs for parents, teachers, and non-teaching school staff. Productivity cost estimates were evaluated by multiplying the number of days for each closure by the state- and year-specific average hourly or daily wage rates for parents, teachers, and school staff. We subdivided total cost and cost per student estimates by school year, state, and urbanicity of school location. RESULTS: The estimated productivity cost of the closures was $476 million in total during the eight years, with most (90%) of the costs occurring between 2016-2017 and 2018-2019, and in Tennessee (55%) and Kentucky (21%). Among all U.S. public schools, the annual cost per student was much higher in Tennessee ($33) and Kentucky ($19) than any other state ($2.4 in the third highest state) or the national average ($1.2). The cost per student was higher in rural areas ($2.9) or towns ($2.5) than cities ($0.6) or suburbs ($0.5). Locations with higher costs tended to have both more closures and closures with longer durations. CONCLUSIONS: In recent years, we found significant heterogeneity in year-to-year costs of ILI-associated reactive school closures. These costs have been greatest in Tennessee and Kentucky and been elevated in rural or town areas relative to cities or suburbs. Our findings might provide evidence to support efforts to reduce the burden of seasonal influenza in these disproportionately impacted states or communities.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human , United States/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Kentucky , Students , Schools
3.
J Sports Sci ; 41(5): 441-450, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240428

ABSTRACT

It is important to monitor secular trends in children's motor performance, as healthy and physically active children are more likely to become healthy and physically active adults. However, studies with regular and standardized monitoring of motor performance in childhood are scarce. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 mitigation measures on secular trends is unknown. This study describes secular changes in balancing backwards, jumping sidewards, 20-m sprint, 20-m Shuttle Run Test (SRT) and anthropometric data in 10'953 Swiss first graders from 2014 to 2021. Multilevel mixed-effects models were used to estimate secular trends for boys vs. girls, lean vs. overweight and fit vs. unfit children. The potential influence of COVID-19 was also analysed. Balance performance decreased (2.8% per year), whereas we found improvements for jumping (1.3% per year) and BMI (-0.7% per year). 20-m SRT performance increased by 0.6% per year in unfit children. Children affected by COVID-19 measures had an increased BMI and were more overweight and obese, but motor performance was mostly higher. In our sample, secular changes in motor performance show promising tendencies from 2014 to 2021. The effects of COVID-19 mitigation measures on BMI, overweight and obesity should be monitored in additional birth cohorts and follow-up studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Overweight , Male , Adult , Female , Humans , Child , Overweight/epidemiology , Body Mass Index , Switzerland/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Obesity , Schools
4.
J Allied Health ; 52(2): e47-e53, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240074

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate the attitudes of applicants of virtual physician assistant (PA) school interviews during the 2021-2022 cycle which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This quasi-experimental design studied applicants to PA programs in the United States. The study recruited applicants who interviewed virtually between March 2020 and January 2022 via an anonymous online survey. In addition to demographic information, the survey contained 20 questions regarding virtual PA school interviews. RESULTS: Study population n= 164. Most of the study participants were interviewed using a Zoom platform (n=147). Overall, there was an above-neutral satisfaction with virtual interviews (3.7 ±1.0, X2= 91.2, p=0.00001). The majority of participants preferred a virtual platform (56%) versus an in-person interview (44%). When stratified by race, 87% of non-White participants preferred a virtual platform for admissions. Ranked order benefits of attending virtual interviews included lower travel cost, less time away from work, ability to interview at more PA programs, and comfort interviewing at home. CONCLUSION: Virtual interviews were adopted by many medical education programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study provides support that PA applicants prefer a virtual platform due to lower cost and less time away from work. Further research is needed to determine preferences outside PA admissions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Medical , Physician Assistants , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Schools , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Nutrients ; 15(11)2023 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238075

ABSTRACT

For the choices of food products, food preferences are crucial, as they influence the intake of nutrients and the resultant quality of diet, but in Poland, no studies of food preferences were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic on a population of young adolescents. The aim of this study was to analyze the determinants of food preferences in a Polish population-based sample of primary school adolescents as part of the Diet and Activity of Youth during COVID-19 (DAY-19) Study. The DAY-19 Study focused on a national sample of a population of primary school adolescents who were recruited based on cluster sampling of participants from counties and schools, yielding a sample of 5039 individuals. Their food preferences were assessed using the Food Preference Questionnaire (FPQ), and they were compared in subgroups stratified by (1) gender: male and female; (2) age: younger (10-13 years) and older (14-16 years); (3) place of residence: urban and rural; (4) Body Mass Index (BMI): underweight, normal body weight, and overweight/obese (assessed based on Polish growth reference values); and (5) physical activity level: low and moderate (assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire for children aged 10-13 (IPAQ-C) and adolescents aged 14-16 (IPAQ-A)). In the population of adolescents, no statistically significant differences in food preferences between subgroups stratified by gender were observed (p > 0.05). For boys, none of the studied factors (age, place of residence, BMI, physical activity level) was statistically significant determinant of food preferences (p < 0.05), while for girls, all of them were statistically significant determinants (p > 0.05). All the assessed factors (age, place of residence, BMI, physical activity level) in girls were associated with preferences for snacks, and older girls, those from a rural environment, those who were underweight and overweight/obese, as well as those having a low physical activity level declared a higher preference for snacks than younger ones (p = 0.0429), those from an urban environment (p = 0.0484), those of a normal body weight (p = 0.0091), and those having a moderate physical activity level (p = 0.0083). Similarly, girls from rural environments declared a higher preference for starches than those from urban environments (p = 0.0103), and girls having a low physical activity level declared a higher preference for fruit than those having a moderate physical activity level (p = 0.0376). Taking this into account, the population of girls, in particular, needs dedicated educational actions to support proper nutritional habits. Additionally, older age, living in a rural environment, being underweight and overweight/obese, and having a low physical activity level may be indicated as factors predisposing one to food preferences potentially promoting unhealthy dietary habits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Preferences , Child , Humans , Male , Adolescent , Female , Overweight/epidemiology , Poland/epidemiology , Thinness/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diet , Body Mass Index , Obesity/epidemiology , Feeding Behavior , Schools
6.
J Physician Assist Educ ; 34(2): 135-141, 2023 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237739

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The expansion of health professions educational programs has led to an acute shortage of available clinical training sites. Rapid growth in the number of medical schools, physician assistant (PA) programs, and advanced nurse practitioner (APRN) programs, all of which share a need for similar types of clinical training experiences, has increased competition for clinical training sites and placed new challenges on educational institutions. Solutions are urgently needed to increase the quantity and quality of supervised clinical practice experiences as well as to ensure diversity among preceptors and geographical clinical sites. This article identifies key barriers to securing sufficient clinical training sites, notes emerging trends, and presents potential innovations through stakeholder collaboration for enhancing clinical training across health professions.


Subject(s)
Physician Assistants , Preceptorship , Humans , Physician Assistants/education , Educational Status , Curriculum , Schools
7.
J Community Health ; 48(3): 496-500, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234345

ABSTRACT

Adherence to masking recommendations and requirements continues to have a wide variety of impacts in terms of viral spread during the ongoing pandemic. As governments, schools, and private sector businesses formulate decisions around mask requirements, it is important to observe real-life adherence to policies and discern subsequent implications. The CDC MASCUP! observational study tracked mask-wearing habits of students on higher-education campuses across the country to collect stratified data about mask typologies, correct mask usage, and differences in behaviors at locations on a college campus and in the surrounding community. Our findings from a single institution include a significant adherence difference between on-campus (86%) and off-campus sites (72%) across the course of this study as well as a notable change in adherence at the on-campus sites with the expiration of a county-wide governmental mandate, despite continuance of a university-wide mandate. This study, completed on and around the campus of East Tennessee State University in Washington County TN, was able to pivotally extract information regarding increased adherence on campus versus the surrounding community. Changes were also seen when mask mandates were implemented and when they expired.


Subject(s)
Schools , Students , Humans , Universities , North Carolina , Kansas
8.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 1106, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245032

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges to families around the world. The prolonged school closures in Hong Kong have forced young students to stay at home and adapt to remote learning for over a year, putting their mental health conditions at risk. Focusing on primary school students and their parents, the main objective of our research is to investigate the socioemotional factors and their associations with mental health conditions. METHODS: A total of 700 Hong Kong primary schoolers (mean age = 8.2) reported their emotional experiences, loneliness, and academic self-concept via a user-friendly online survey; 537 parents reported depression and anxiety, perceived child depression and anxiety, and social support. Responses from students and parents were paired to account for the family context. Structural Equation Modeling was used for correlations and regressions. RESULTS: The results of students' responses showed that positive emotional experiences were negatively associated with loneliness and positively related to academic self-concept among students. Furthermore, the paired sample results showed that, during the one-year societal lockdown and remote learning period, the socioemotional factors were associated with mental health conditions among primary school students and their parents. Among our family sample in Hong Kong, evidence supports the unique negative association between students-reported positive emotional experiences and parents-reported child depression and anxiety, as well as between social support and parents' depression and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlighted the associations between socioemotional factors and mental health among young primary schoolers during the societal lockdown. We thus call for more attention to the societal lockdown and remote learning context, especially since the social distancing practice could be "the new normal" for our society to handle the future pandemic crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , Child , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Students , Schools , Parents
9.
An Pediatr (Engl Ed) ; 99(1): 3-13, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231363

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had a great impact on the physical and psychological health of the population. The aim of this study was to evaluate child and adolescent mental health in a population cohort along the 2020-2021 school year. METHODS: This was a prospective longitudinal study of a cohort of children from 5-14 years of age in Catalonia, Spain, performed from September 2020 to July 2021. The participants were randomly selected and accompanied by their primary care paediatrician. Evaluation of risk of psychopathology was performed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) carried out by one of the legal guardians of the child. We also collected sociodemographic and health variables of the participants and their nuclear family. Data were collected by an online survey through the RedCap platform at the beginning of the academic year and at the end of each trimester (4 cuts). RESULTS: At the beginning of the school year, 9.8% of the patients were probable cases of psychopathology compared to 6.2% at the end of the year. The perception of the level of preoccupation of the children for their health and that of their family was related to presenting psychopathology, especially at the beginning of the year, with the perception of a good family atmosphere being always related to lower risk. No variable related to COVID-19 was associated with an altered SDQ result. CONCLUSIONS: Along the 2020-2021 school year, the percentage of children with a probability of presenting psychopathology decreased from 9.8% to 6.2%.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Humans , Child , Adolescent , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Spain/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
10.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 17(3): 404-410, 2023 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2327358

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Poor literacy is associated with hepatitis morbidity and mortality. Adolescents are especially at risk of hepatitis C. This study investigated viral hepatitis literacy, risk, and influencing factors among Chinese middle and high school students. METHODOLOGY: A supervised self-administered survey was conducted with school children from six schools in Shantou, China. Data on demographics, health literacy, and risk of viral hepatitis were analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 1732 students (from three middle and three high schools) participated in the study. Their major information resources were the internet (39.5%, 685/1732), television (28.8%, 498/1732), family (27.7%, 479/1732), and school (21.2%, 368/1732). The mean literacy score on the manifestations and risk factors of hepatitis was 3.4 ± 2.2 and 4.0 ± 2.3 (out of 8), respectively. Multiple linear regression models showed being female and in high school, having parents with higher education levels, and school or clinicians as an information resource were independent positive predictors, whereas poor awareness of risk factors was a negative predictor for health literacy. CONCLUSIONS: We report the risk of hepatitis among Chinese middle and high school students due to limited literacy and poor attitudes towards health-risk behaviors. Health education in school is recommended for preventable health risks among Chinese adolescents.


Subject(s)
Health Literacy , Hepatitis, Viral, Human , Adolescent , Child , Female , Humans , Male , China/epidemiology , East Asian People/statistics & numerical data , Health Literacy/statistics & numerical data , Hepatitis, Viral, Human/epidemiology , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Risk Factors , Attitude to Health , Health Risk Behaviors
11.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 922, 2023 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326660

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face delivery of education in schools across Wales was disrupted with repeated school closures to limit risk of infection. Evidence describing the incidence of infection amongst school staff during times when schools were open is limited. A previous research study found infection rates were higher in English primary school settings when compared with secondary. An Italian study suggested teachers weren't at greater risk of infection in comparison to the general population. The aim of this study was to identify whether educational staff had higher incidence rates than their counterparts in the general population in Wales, and secondly whether incidence rates amongst staff differed between primary and secondary school settings and by teacher age. METHODS: We performed a retrospective observational cohort study using the national case detection and contact tracing system implemented during the COVID pandemic. Age stratified person-day COVID-19 incidence rates amongst teaching staff linked to primary or secondary schools in Wales were calculated for the autumn and summer terms during 2020-2021. RESULTS: The observed pooled COVID-19 incidence rates for staff across both terms was 23.30 per 100,000 person days (95% CI: 22.31-24.33). By comparison, the rate in the general population aged 19-65, was 21.68 per 100,000 person days (95%: CI 21.53-21.84). Incidence among teaching staff was highest in the two youngest age groups (< 25 years and 25-29 years). When compared to the age matched general population, incidence was higher in the autumn term amongst primary school teachers aged ≤ 39 years, and in the summer term higher only in the primary school teachers aged < 25 years. CONCLUSION: The data were consistent with an elevated risk of COVID-19 amongst younger teaching staff in primary schools when compared to the general population, however differences in case ascertainment couldn't be excluded as a possible reason for this. Rate differences by age group in teaching staff mirrored those in the general population. The risk in older teachers (≥ 50 years) in both settings was the same or lower than in the general population. Amongst all age groups of teachers maintaining the key risk mitigations within periods of COVID transmission remain important.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Aged , Incidence , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Schools
12.
J Youth Adolesc ; 52(7): 1374-1389, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325278

ABSTRACT

Although literature states that individual, relational, and contextual factors contribute to adolescents' sense of agency, more research is needed to clarify and understand how adolescents develop this belief over time. The current study examined the stability/change trajectories of the sense of agency during adolescence, specifically across high school, analyzing whether attachment to parents over time, adolescents' sex, cumulative risk in baseline, and pandemic-related stress explained these trajectories. The sample included 467 Portuguese adolescents (40.7% were males; Mage = 15.58 years, SD = 0.80), evaluated three times across 18 months. This work yielded three significant findings. First, adolescents' sense of agency significantly increased over time, with significant between-subject variance at the initial levels but not at the growth rate. Second, attachment to parents consistently links to adolescents' sense of agency across time, despite the differential contributions from attachment to mothers and fathers. Third, boys reported greater growth in the sense of agency than girls. Adolescents' cumulative risk at T1 predicted lower initial levels of sense of agency, whereas higher pandemic-related stress predicted less growth of the sense of agency. These findings emphasize the contributions of individual and family characteristics and the role of the broader social context in shaping the development of adolescents' sense of agency. The findings underline the need to consider further the differential influences of adolescents' relationships with mothers and fathers to understand changes in adolescents' sense of agency.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Behavior , Pandemics , Male , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Parents , Mothers , Schools
13.
Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr ; 72(4): 361-380, 2023 May.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325083

ABSTRACT

In the project "Resilient Children", a resilience promotion program for kindergartens and elementary schools was directly applied and evaluated during the COVID-19-crisis.The aim of the study was to strengthen the three sources of resilience according to Grotberg (1995) I HAVE, I AM and I CAN through targeted exercises and resilience-promoting communication (transfer to everyday life). Additionally, gender differences with regard to the effect of the programme were addressed. "Resilient Children" was evaluated at the impact level (pre-post design) and process level. Eight kindergartens and three elementary schools with 125 children participated. A total of 122 teachers and 70 parents provided information about the children. The results at the impact level showed that from the parent and teacher perspective, and from the self-perspective (children), the three sources of resilience were significantly strengthened. With regard to gender differences, the results from the perspective of teachers and parents showed that girls were characterised by greater changes than boys. Compared to the girls, the physical andmental well-being of the boys improved fromthe parents' point of view. The results of the process evaluation revealed a high level of motivation and enthusiasm for participation in the programme on the part of participating children and teachers. The success of "Resilient Children" depends on the identification of the teachers with the program.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Female , Humans , Child , Program Evaluation , Schools , Educational Status , Motivation
14.
Int J Public Health ; 68: 1605624, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324684

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) COVID-19 guidelines for non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) identify safety, hygiene and physical distancing measures to control SARS-Cov-2 transmission in schools. Because their implementation requires complicated changes, the guidelines also include "accompanying measures" of risk communication, health literacy and community engagement. Although these are considered crucial, their implementation is complex. This study aimed to co-define a community partnership that a) identifies systemic barriers and b) designs recommendations on how to implement the NPI to improve SARS-Cov-2 prevention in schools. Methods: We designed and piloted a System-Oriented Dialogue Model with the participation of 44 teachers and 868 students and their parents from six Spanish schools during 2021. The results were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Participants identified 406 items addressing issues related to system characteristics, which is indicative of the complexity of the challenge. Using a thematic analysis, we defined 14 recommendations covering five categories. Conclusion: These findings could help in developing guidelines for initiating community engagement partnerships in schools to provide more integrated prevention interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spain , Schools , Students
15.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(5): e2313586, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323087

ABSTRACT

Importance: Adverse outcomes of COVID-19 in the pediatric population include disease and hospitalization, leading to school absenteeism. Booster vaccination for eligible individuals across all ages may promote health and school attendance. Objective: To assess whether accelerating COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccination uptake across the general population would be associated with reduced pediatric hospitalizations and school absenteeism. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this decision analytical model, a simulation model of COVID-19 transmission was fitted to reported incidence data from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2022, with outcomes simulated from October 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. The transmission model included the entire age-stratified US population, and the outcome model included children younger than 18 years. Interventions: Simulated scenarios of accelerated bivalent COVID-19 booster campaigns to achieve uptake that was either one-half of or similar to the age-specific uptake observed for 2020 to 2021 seasonal influenza vaccination in the eligible population across all age groups. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcomes were estimated hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, and isolation days of symptomatic infection averted among children aged 0 to 17 years and estimated days of school absenteeism averted among children aged 5 to 17 years under the accelerated bivalent booster campaign simulated scenarios. Results: Among children aged 5 to 17 years, a COVID-19 bivalent booster campaign achieving age-specific coverage similar to influenza vaccination could have averted an estimated 5 448 694 (95% credible interval [CrI], 4 936 933-5 957 507) days of school absenteeism due to COVID-19 illness. In addition, the booster campaign could have prevented an estimated 10 019 (95% CrI, 8756-11 278) hospitalizations among the pediatric population aged 0 to 17 years, of which 2645 (95% CrI, 2152-3147) were estimated to require intensive care. A less ambitious booster campaign with only 50% of the age-specific uptake of influenza vaccination among eligible individuals could have averted an estimated 2 875 926 (95% CrI, 2 524 351-3 332 783) days of school absenteeism among children aged 5 to 17 years and an estimated 5791 (95% CrI, 4391-6932) hospitalizations among children aged 0 to 17 years, of which 1397 (95% CrI, 846-1948) were estimated to require intensive care. Conclusions and Relevance: In this decision analytical model, increased uptake of bivalent booster vaccination among eligible age groups was associated with decreased hospitalizations and school absenteeism in the pediatric population. These findings suggest that although COVID-19 prevention strategies often focus on older populations, the benefits of booster campaigns for children may be substantial.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Child , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Absenteeism , Health Promotion , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , Hospitalization , Schools
16.
Longit Life Course Stud ; 14(2): 203-239, 2022 11 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321920

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the findings of longitudinal research conducted in Ethiopia exploring the effects of COVID-19 school closures on children's holistic learning, including their socio-emotional and academic learning. It draws on data from over 2,000 pupils captured in 2019 and 2021 to compare primary school children's dropout and learning before and after school closures. The study adapts self-reporting scales used in similar contexts to measure grade 4-6 pupils' social skills and numeracy. Findings highlight the risk of widening inequality regarding educational access and outcomes, related to pupils' gender, age, wealth and location. They also highlight a decline in social skills following school closures and identify a positive and significant relationship between pupils' social skills and numeracy over time. In conclusion, we recommend a need for education systems to promote children's holistic learning, which is even more vital in the aftermath of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Student Dropouts , Child , Humans , Students/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Schools , Educational Status
17.
PLoS Med ; 20(5): e1004226, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321856

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Growing evidence suggests an important contribution of airborne transmission to the overall spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), in particular via smaller particles called aerosols. However, the contribution of school children to SARS-CoV-2 transmission remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to assess transmission of airborne respiratory infections and the association with infection control measures in schools using a multiple-measurement approach. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We collected epidemiological (cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)), environmental (CO2, aerosol and particle concentrations), and molecular data (bioaerosol and saliva samples) over 7 weeks from January to March 2022 (Omicron wave) in 2 secondary schools (n = 90, average 18 students/classroom) in Switzerland. We analyzed changes in environmental and molecular characteristics between different study conditions (no intervention, mask wearing, air cleaners). Analyses of environmental changes were adjusted for different ventilation, the number of students in class, school and weekday effects. We modeled disease transmission using a semi-mechanistic Bayesian hierarchical model, adjusting for absent students and community transmission. Molecular analysis of saliva (21/262 positive) and airborne samples (10/130) detected SARS-CoV-2 throughout the study (weekly average viral concentration 0.6 copies/L) and occasionally other respiratory viruses. Overall daily average CO2 levels were 1,064 ± 232 ppm (± standard deviation). Daily average aerosol number concentrations without interventions were 177 ± 109 1/cm3 and decreased by 69% (95% CrI 42% to 86%) with mask mandates and 39% (95% CrI 4% to 69%) with air cleaners. Compared to no intervention, the transmission risk was lower with mask mandates (adjusted odds ratio 0.19, 95% CrI 0.09 to 0.38) and comparable with air cleaners (1.00, 95% CrI 0.15 to 6.51). Study limitations include possible confounding by period as the number of susceptible students declined over time. Furthermore, airborne detection of pathogens document exposure but not necessarily transmission. CONCLUSIONS: Molecular detection of airborne and human SARS-CoV-2 indicated sustained transmission in schools. Mask mandates were associated with greater reductions in aerosol concentrations than air cleaners and with lower transmission. Our multiple-measurement approach could be used to continuously monitor transmission risk of respiratory infections and the effectiveness of infection control measures in schools and other congregate settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Switzerland/epidemiology , Bayes Theorem , Carbon Dioxide , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Schools
18.
J Phys Act Health ; 20(7): 639-647, 2023 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318988

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lockdown measures, including school closures, due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused widespread disruption to children's lives. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of a national lockdown on children's physical activity using seasonally matched accelerometry data. METHODS: Using a pre/post observational design, 179 children aged 8 to 11 years provided physical activity data measured using hip-worn triaxial accelerometers worn for 5 consecutive days prepandemic and during the January to March 2021 lockdown. Multilevel regression analyses adjusted for covariates were used to assess the impact of lockdown on time spent in sedentary and moderate to vigorous physical activity. RESULTS: A 10.8-minute reduction in daily time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (standard error: 2.3 min/d, P < .001) and a 33.2-minute increase in daily sedentary activity (standard error: 5.5 min/d, P < .001) were observed during lockdown. This reflected a reduction in daily moderate to vigorous physical activity for those unable to attend school (-13.1 [2.3] min/d, P < .001) during lockdown, with no significant change for those who continued to attend school (0.4 [4.0] min/d, P < .925). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the loss of in-person schooling was the single largest impact on physical activity in this cohort of primary school children in London, Luton, and Dunstable, United Kingdom.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Exercise , Humans , Child , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Sedentary Behavior , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Schools , Accelerometry , United Kingdom/epidemiology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(9)2023 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318338

ABSTRACT

One significant concern during the COVID-19 pandemic is parents' mental health, which may consequently affect children's health and well-being. The objective of this study is to investigate generalized anxiety and depression in parents of primary-school-aged children and identify risk factors for mental health problems. A cross-sectional survey comprising 701 parents of primary school children in five of Thailand's major provinces was carried out from January to March 2022. Generalized anxiety and depression levels were assessed using the GAD-7 and PHQ-9. Logistic regression was performed to determine the effects of independent variables on anxiety and depression. Results showed that the prevalence of generalized anxiety and depression was 42.7% and 28.5%, respectively, among Thai parents. Three strong associative factors included: (1) having a youngest child with mental health problems; (2) not assisting their children every day; and (3) drinking alcohol. These findings show that the parents must deal with several difficulties when trying to maintain work and parenting duties while being confined at home during emergency situations. The government should provide sufficient assistance to parents who lack skills in handling children with emotional and behavioral problems. Meanwhile, health promotion to reduce alcohol consumption should continue to be an area of focus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depression , Humans , Child , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Self Report , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Thailand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Schools
20.
Isr J Health Policy Res ; 12(1): 20, 2023 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317705

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the food and nutrition security status of thousands of children in Israel. This commentary argues that policymakers should urgently readjust the Israeli school feeding program based on experts' advice. Children should have the right to select food items, grow the items, prepare the meals, and clean and care for the waste together. They should eat as a community in suitable school dining rooms. Access to the school feeding program should also be ensured during emergencies, school closures, isolation and quarantine, treatment, and rehabilitation of children. The food provided through the program should be integrated into the food baskets of their families, aimed at improving their households' food and nutrition security. It is important to activate a universal school feeding program that does not differentiate, separate, and stigmatize children, their households, their communities, and their schools. The United States National School Lunch Program is briefly reviewed, highlighting the importance of the program's routine monitoring, evaluation, and improvement. Engaging the children in planning the meals and in the production, preparedness, provision, and waste management processes are key to improving their involvement, health literacy and promotion, and their families' resilience. Implementing a holistic Food System Approach, including school gardening and "Farm to School," is suggested. It is recommended to urgently formulate a modern, universal, and comprehensive Israeli Food and Nutrition Security Plan, with a dedicated chapter for the upgraded School Feeding Programe with a section on its implementation in emergency preparedness, response, and Resilience. It should be anchored in the Food Systems framework and the One Health Approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Services , Child , Humans , United States , Israel , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Schools
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