What Consequences Has Covid Had On Children?

Last updated by Katie M.

It all started with an Instagram post. An open letter from a pharmacist who explained how she is forced to torture children on a daily basis with nasal swabs. The pharmacist then went on to describe how the sound of the kid’s cries and the looks of exhausted parents haunt her. Her social media post has shed light on this alarming situation and raises many questions too. Psychologist; Delphine Py, shares her insights and advice below.

Delphine Py, the period is a stressful one for everyone, but how can we ensure our children are okay?

Parents have to ensure that they manage to keep their emotions in check and that their negative thoughts of desperation don’t rub off onto their children. In order to do this, try;

  • Minimizing the event and explaining the situation to your children with words they can understand.
  • Answering their questions without anticipating them beforehand. Answer their questions naturally, without attempting to reassure them of things they weren’t worried about.

When it comes to Covid testing, what are your tips to get kids to stop fidgeting?

The following points are essential:

  • With the help of a doll or puppet, show your children how the test is done. This will help calm their nerves.
  • Where possible, wait for the children to tell you that they are ready for the sample to be taken. Creating a calm and serene environment is essential.
  • Think about your communication, we unintentionally often use negative communication. Instead, try putting yourself in the child’s shoes. If, for example, you say ‘it doesn’t hurt’, or ‘it will only take a second’, the child will only retain that something painful is about to happen. Try to reformulate your reassurances positively by saying, for example, ‘stay calm, you’ll only feel a tickling sensation’.

Alternatively, try;

  • Distracting the child: This is what we call conversational hypnosis. For example, here, you can ask the child to focus on their breathing or to count whilst the test is underway.
  • Giving them a task: ‘Can you name 5 animals beginning with the letter M?’. Telling a joke will also help them relax too. By diverting their attention onto something else, children disconnect and ignore what is really happening.

How should you react when your child tests positive for Covid, and you don’t want to stress them out?

The best way to go about it is to;

  • Act like it was a normal cold;
  • Avoid over the top reactions;
  • Reassure your child;
  • Answer their questions;
  • Spend as much time with them as possible.

The Covid pandemic began in March 2020, but what are the effects on children?

First and foremost, there has been a hugely worrying increase in the number of children with anxiety and depressionPlus, suicide attempts amongst young people have never been higher. As the pandemic progressed, and we learned to live with the virus, the waves of trouble calmed slightly, however, the cases of anxiety and stress have once again shot up.

Should we be worried about the mid and long-term psychological consequences on our children?

At the moment, there are too few studies on the subject, however, if we take into consideration those carried out on adults, we realize that repercussions on our mental health are present for around 2 to 3 years. We can therefore imagine that the same conclusions will apply to children too.

Although, let’s not forget that kids are extremely resilient, and it’s, therefore, possible to accompany them in regaining their wellbeing.

As a professional, what questions do parents typically ask you?

Parents are frequently worried about the effects that wearing a mask has on their children. They worry that their children will have trouble recognizing and understanding emotions. Many also believe that children who are just learning to speak will have more difficulties moving forward.

It’s true that some may have a harder time, but we must keep in mind that our eyes communicate micro-expressions too. There are plenty of studies which indicate that blind children don’t have communication problems. Plus, children aren’t simply restricted to seeing people who wear masks all day. Interactions at home are very important, so be patient with the process.

Delphine Py - PSYNERGIE - Psychologist 

Delphine Py – PSYNERGY – Psicologa Psicoterapeuta TCC
Delphine, specializes in behavioral therapy and has exercised for over 10 years. She recently co-founded the mobile app; Psynergy which proposes consultations via video chat. She ensures her patients a concrete and progressive approach.

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Article presented by Katie M.

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