Young Children & Pandemic: How is the pandemic affecting your child?

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  • 4 months ago
Dr. Sunny Narula
Pediatrics

Young Children & Pandemic: How is the pandemic affecting your child?

Pediatrics and SimpliHealth expert Child specialist Dr. Sunny Narula will talk about Young Children & Pandemic and How is the pandemic affecting your child? We won’t go into details as to what effects does COVID itself had. COVID amongst children is not as severe, they may get fever which can be tackled. Other diseases like viral infections, any diseases from outside food, or typhoid are seen to have lessened in the past 2 years as the children stay home. But we will not be getting into detail about these. Instead, we will be discussing this problem from a different angle, we will be talking about problems that parents don’t seem to recognize that much. 

What are the effects of the pandemic on a child and the family

As it works as a home for all of us, even the parents are at home, the studies and schools are all online so the children are more exposed to social media, tablets, and computers. All this has increased the screen time of the children. Screentime is the time they spend looking at tv, mobile, or laptop screens. 

  • Eye problems: This major issue that this caused was eye problems. We had a lot of children come in with dry eyes and blinking problems. Staring at the digital screens without blinking can cause dry eyes.
  • Sleep disorders :The other problem was staying up late. The usage of mobile phones has disturbed their sleep schedule. This was seen at the start of the pandemic.
  • Obesity : This was a common concern amongst all the people that they have gained a lot of weight in this pandemic. The children’s physical activities were restricted. They could not go to school, they could not play in the park. And this caused the children to gain a lot of unhealthy weight. They would just sit in the house and eat whatever they find.
  • Diabetes  and BP: We have also seen increased incidents of diseases associated with obesity, like diabetes and Blood Pressure in children.

Covid Impact on Speech and Language

Other than these, the other problem that we saw during this time was late speech development. We had patients with this problem before as well, but it was treated and diagnosed from a different angle. But during the pandemic, it was because of the overuse of phones, the family had fewer interactions, and the children didn’t talk to each other. These children do not have any speech problems or mental problems. This delayed speech development is because the small children do not play with each other. 

Depression 

Last but not least, the most dangerous trend seen in adolescents from the age of 12-3 to 18-19 is social isolation. As the children can’t go to school, they don’t have anything to do, so they spend most of their time on social media. And this is causing depression episodes in the children. We had one or two cases before, but we haven’t seen such a spurt in depression among children during these two years. And it goes to such an extent that the child needs medicines and psychiatric help. It wasn’t like this before. Staying at home during the pandemic has a significant influence on this. 

Bottom line 

We have discussed various problems, but one thing was common. And it is screen time. The time the child spends on the phone staring at the screen has been a common factor in all the problems. 

What can you do? 

The parents should keep this in mind and monitor their child’s screen time. The time required for online classes is enough. Sit and talk to them, have healthy conversations. If they want to talk to their friends, let them. But more than that, restrict the overuse of electronic devices. 

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