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How Did the COVID-19 Lockdown Affect Children and Adolescent's Well-Being: Spanish Parents, Children, and Adolescents Respond
Frontiers in public health ; 9, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1563781
ABSTRACT

Background:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown strategies have been widely used to contain SARS-CoV-2 virus spread. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to suffering psychological effects as result of such measures. In Spain, children were enforced to a strict home lockdown for 42 days during the first wave. Here, we studied the effects of lockdown in children and adolescents through an online questionnaire.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain using an open online survey from July (after the lockdown resulting from the first pandemic wave) to November 2020 (second wave). We included families with children under 16 years-old living in Spain. Parents answered a survey regarding the lockdown effects on their children and were instructed to invite their children from 7 to 16 years-old (mandatory scholar age in Spain) to respond a specific set of questions. Answers were collected through an application programming interface system, and data analysis was performed using R.

Results:

We included 1,957 families who completed the questionnaires, covering a total of 3,347 children. The specific children's questionnaire was completed by 167 kids (7–11 years-old), and 100 adolescents (12–16 years-old). Children, in general, showed high resilience and capability to adapt to new situations. Sleeping problems were reported in more than half of the children (54%) and adolescents (59%), and these were strongly associated with less time doing sports and spending more than 5 h per day using electronic devices. Parents perceived their children to gain weight (41%), be more irritable and anxious (63%) and sadder (46%). Parents and children differed significantly when evaluating children's sleeping disturbances.

Conclusions:

Enforced lockdown measures and isolation can have a negative impact on children and adolescent's mental health and well-being. In future waves of the current pandemic, or in the light of potential epidemics of new emerging infections, lockdown measures targeting children, and adolescents should be reconsidered taking into account their infectiousness potential and their age-specific needs, especially to facilitate physical activity and to limit time spent on electronic devices.
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Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Randomized controlled trials / Risk factors Language: English Journal: Frontiers in public health Year: 2021 Document Type: Article

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Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Randomized controlled trials / Risk factors Language: English Journal: Frontiers in public health Year: 2021 Document Type: Article