Psychiatrist Blog

Coronavirus and Children, How has COVID-19 Affected Children

child taking precaution against coronavirus

How has COVID-19 affected children? 

Children 5 and under are affected differently than the older children. The toddlers are tolerating this big life-style change better than those older children as they simply don’t know as much. The older children have very reasonable questions and don’t quite understand the constant change. It has disrupted their childhood more aligned with that of an adult. For some, the socially anxious ones, Covid has helped as it’s allowed them to stay home and isolated. For the ones that need the interaction, it has negatively impacted them as Covid has taken that away from them. 

With increased stress and uncertainty, what do children need most right now? 

Children need reassurance, positivity and constant. That back and forth between hybrid, to full time live schooling to staying home does not allow the child to have any expectations. The unpredictability is what dresses these children. 

If a child has a mental health condition, does that exclude them from mask wearing and/or following social distancing protocols?

Anaclitic depression is a term used to describe the transient depressed state of infants after their separation from a mothering figure. This term has been used in research with human infants and animal infants, ranging from experiments with nonhuman primates to studies with guinea pigs and rats. Symptoms are similar but can vary slightly by species and by the individual mother–infant relationships preseparation. While most studies agree that the effects of anaclitic depression are short-lived, disappearing after the mother–infant reunion, few studies have examined potential long-term behavioral effects.

Anaclictic Depression was first described in a 1945 article by Rene Spitz.

The mask can cause the child not to identify the Mother and thus cause the event.

What can you do to support children who are anxious, depressed, etc.?  SPEAK. We often forget to ask our children how they’re feeling. We should be asking them and answering their questions. They really just want to know that we think everything will be ok in the end. For our anxious and depressed children, therapy is always a good first option. Having a person, outside of family or friends, is a nice option to speak to and help cope.


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