Children are hidden victims of this pandemic: Experts

Children are hidden victims of this pandemic: Experts
Children sitting inside a school amid pandemic. [File]Mubashir Khan/ GK

Baramulla: Aarifeen School of Excellence, Baramulla, in collaboration with child guidance and wellbeing centre Institute of mental health and neurosciences, Kashmir organised a webinar on Psychosocial issues among children and Responsive Parenting during COVID-19 on Thursday.

On the occasion, Adil Wadoo Programme Coordinator Child Guidance & Well-being Centre, Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, Srinagar briefed the audience about impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of children, psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents, common psychological disorders among children and responsive parenting.

“Children are hidden victims of this pandemic and are highly vulnerable than adults as adults have access to authentic news and information, and can de-stress themselves by spending time on social media, talking with friends, watching movies; children lack these privileges,” Adil said while addressing the parents of Aarifeen School of Excellence in the webinar. He said that due to the prevailing circumstances, children are confined to homes and left with least outdoor play activities as places of recreation are closed due to lockdown.

“One of the interesting facts is that smartphones and social media have become the only source of recreational activity and educational tools in times of lockdown. Parents have to monitor and filter the content their children are exposed to such platforms. Positive reinforcement and healthy emotional interaction and conversations among family members are the need of the hour,” Adil said.

Wadoo said that the general complaints from parents received during the second wave of COVID-19 were identified as anxiety, stress, aggressive behaviour, increased screen time, depressive signs, sleep disturbance, fear for the situation among children.

“Children should be allowed to socialise with their friends through online forums under adult supervision. The parents as well as guardians should monitor their behaviour and seek professional help with experts whenever and wherever required.”

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