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Lockdown may have long term impact on children

This news post is over 3 years old

A new study has suggested many youngsters lived a sedentary lifestyle during lockdown, and that the pandemic caused them anxiety

Many children lived a sedentary lifestyle during lockdown which may have lasting impact on their health, a new study has shown.

A survey involving over 10,000 children across the country between April and June has laid bare the impact Covid-19 has had on the health and wellbeing of young people.

The Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government-backed How Are You Doing examination carried out by the Children's Parliament outlined a range of evidence that lockdown was linked to social isolation and a drop in health and wellbeing.

More than one in five of the children questioned did not agree they had plenty of energy during lockdown, while over a quarter did not agree they got enough exercise with around three in four saying computer games were helpful during lockdown.

One in three children said they did not generally feel cheerful and in a good mood over the three months, and half of those asked said they were worried about how their family was doing.

John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said: “This survey highlights just how vital it is that policy makers and service providers listen to the voices of children as schools reopen and Scotland builds toward social renewal. We know from our work that children in families struggling on low incomes faced particular challenges engaging with school during lockdown, and that maintaining mental health was a real concern."

Paul Carberry, Action for Children's director for Scotland, said: “It is clear this pandemic has triggered a crisis for mums, dads and children on an unprecedented scale and this study chimes with many of the accounts our frontline staff are hearing from families on a daily basis.

“As we begin to take steps out of lockdown, huge numbers of children will need extra support over the coming months, which we are actively playing our part in. Despite this many parents are telling us they don’t know where else to turn for other support. As the immediate health crisis passes we now need to turn our attention to the scars coronavirus has left on families struggling with a whole new reality."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said new funding had been provided to local authorities to support the planning and development of new community mental health and wellbeing services for 5-25 year olds, their families and carers, and £5.8m will be used to create new online support services and increase the capacity of existing ones including resources on mental health and wellbeing.



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