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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNDER DEVELOPMENT UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Age-dependent effects in the transmission and control of COVID-19 epidemics

AUTHOR(S)
Nicholas Davies; Petra Klepac; Yang Liu

Published: July 2020   Nature Medicine
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a markedly low proportion of cases among children. Age disparities in observed cases could be explained by children having lower susceptibility to infection, lower propensity to show clinical symptoms or both. We evaluate these possibilities by fitting an age-structured mathematical model to epidemic data from China, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Canada and South Korea. We estimate that susceptibility to infection in individuals under 20 years of age is approximately half that of adults aged over 20 years, and that clinical symptoms manifest in 21% (95% credible interval: 12–31%) of infections in 10- to 19-year-olds, rising to 69% (57–82%) of infections in people aged over 70 years. Accordingly, we find that interventions aimed at children might have a relatively small impact on reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, particularly if the transmissibility of subclinical infections is low. Our age-specific clinical fraction and susceptibility estimates have implications for the expected global burden of COVID-19, as a result of demographic differences across settings. In countries with younger population structures—such as many low-income countries—the expected per capita incidence of clinical cases would be lower than in countries with older population structures, although it is likely that comorbidities in low-income countries will also influence disease severity. Without effective control measures, regions with relatively older populations could see disproportionally more cases of COVID-19, particularly in the later stages of an unmitigated epidemic.
Routine Childhood Immunisation During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa: A Benefit–Risk Analysis of Health Benefits Versus Excess Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

AUTHOR(S)
Kaja Abbas; Simon R Procter; Kevin Van Zanvoort; et al.

Published: July 2020   The Lancet Global Health
National immunisation programmes globally are at risk of suspension due to the severe health system constraints and physical distancing measures in place to mitigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to compare the health benefits of sustaining routine childhood immunisation in Africa with the risk of acquiring severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection through visiting routine vaccination service delivery points.
Early estimates of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study

AUTHOR(S)
Timothy Robertson; Emily Carter; Victoria Chou; et al.

Published: July 2020   The Lancet Global Health
While the COVID-19 pandemic will increase mortality due to the virus, it is also likely to increase mortality indirectly. This study estimates the additional maternal and under-5 child deaths resulting from the potential disruption of health systems and decreased access to food. Estimates show that if routine health care is disrupted and access to food is decreased (as a result of unavoidable shocks, health system collapse, or intentional choices made in responding to the pandemic), the increase in child and maternal deaths will be substantial. 
Reflection on lower rates of COVID-19 in children: Does childhood immunizations offer unexpected protection?

AUTHOR(S)
Lyu Jinglu; Tianyu Miao; Ranran Cao; et al.

Published: July 2020   Medical Hypotheses
The incidence of COVID-19 in children and teenagers is only about 2% in China. Children had mild symptoms and hardly infected other children or adults. It is worth considering that children are the most vulnerable to respiratory pathogens, but fatal SARS-like virus had not caused severe cases among them. According to the pathological studies of COVID-19 and SARS, a sharp decrease in T lymphocytes leads to the breakdown of the immune system. The cellular immune system of children differs from that of adults may be the keystone of atypical clinical manifestations or even covert infection. The frequent childhood vaccinations and repeated pathogens infections might be resulting in trained immunity of innate immune cells, immune fitness of adaptive immune cells or cross-protection of antibodies in the children. Therefore, due to lack of specific vaccine, some vaccines for tuberculosis, influenza and pneumonia may have certain application potential for the front-line health workers in the prevention and control of COVID-19. However, for high-risk susceptible populations, such as the elderly with basic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, it is necessary to explore the remedial effect of the planned immune process on their immunity to achieve the trained immunity or immune fitness, so as to improve their own antiviral ability.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 143 | No. of pages: 6 | Tags: adolescents, children, immunization, COVID-19 response, COVID-19 | Topics: Health, Child Protection | Countries: China
From SARS to COVID-19: What we have learned about children infected with COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Meng Yao Zhou; Xiao-li Xie; Yong-gang Peng; et al.

Published: July 2020   International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Coronaviruses, both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, first appeared in China. They have certain biological, epidemiological and pathological similarities. To date, research has shown that their genes exhibit 79% of identical sequences and the receptor-binding domain structure is also very similar. There has been extensive research performed on SARS; however, the understanding of the pathophysiological impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still limited.
Zooming toward a telehealth solution for vulnerable children with obesity during coronavirus disease 2019

AUTHOR(S)
Woo Baidal; A. Jennifer; Jane Chang; et al.

Published: July 2020   Obesity
Health inequities exist throughout the life course, resulting in racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in obesity and obesity- related health complications. Obesity and its comorbidities appear to be linked to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality. Approaches to reduce obesity in the time of COVID-19 closures are urgently needed and should start early in life. In New York City, a telehealth pediatric weight-management collaborative spanning NewYork-Presbyterian, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Weill Cornell Medicine was developed during COVID-19 with show rates from 76% to 89%. To stave off the impending exacerbation of health disparities related to obesity risk factors in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, effective interventions that can be delivered remotely are urgently needed among vulnerable children with obesity. Challenges in digital technology access, social and linguistic differences, privacy security, and reimbursement must be overcome to realize the full potential of telehealth for pediatric weight management among low-income and racial/ethnic-minority children.
Cite this research | Open access | Issue: 28 | No. of pages: 1184-1186 | Language: English | Tags: COVID-19, obesity, vulnerable children | Topics: Health
Spotlight on child abuse and neglect response in the time of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth York Thomas; Ashi Anurudran; Kathryn Robb; Thomas F. Burke

Published: July 2020   The Lancet Public Health
The article calls for adopting a public health approach toward pandemic-related increases in domestic violence ought to be heeded. Adoption of their framework for evaluating and addressing domestic violence and child abuse and neglect can create public health benefits that far outlast the current crisis. School systems and youth-serving organisations can and should play a vital role in addressing the increased abuse and neglect of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 5 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: e371 | Language: English | Tags: child abuse and neglect, public health, violence against children, COVID-19 | Topics: Child Protection | Publisher: The Lancet
Mitigating the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response on At-Risk Children

AUTHOR(S)
Charlene Wong; David Ming; Gary Maslow ; et al.

Published: July 2020   Pediatrics
This research focuses on risks and mitigation strategies for 3 at-risk subpopulations of children: (1) children with behavioral health needs, (2) children in foster care or at risk for maltreatment, and (3) children with medical complexity (CMC). Mitigation strategies delineated for these at-risk populations are also likely beneficial for any child and family. Importantly, children not already in these groups are at risk for facing new medical, behavioral, or social challenges that develop during the pandemic. In particular, children in households of low socioeconomic status are likely at the highest risk for new or worsening issues, underscoring the critical leadership role of Medicaid programs in these risk mitigation strategies.
Behavioural and Emotional Disorders in Children During the COVID-19 Epidemic

AUTHOR(S)
Wen YanJiao; Lin Na Wang; Juan Liu; et al.

Published: June 2020   The Journal of Pediatrics

Since December 2019, health systems around the globe have struggled with an increasing number of cases of a viral respiratory syndrome that emerged in China. The cause is a new strain in the coronavirus family, provisionally named 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)1, SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19. The European Paediatric Association–Union of National European Paediatric Societies and Associations (EPA-UNEPSA) has established a collaborative working group with key Chinese academic institutions and medical centers with the purpose of facilitating the reciprocal exchange of information and sharing scientific knowledge. The aim of this commentary by the China-EPA-UNEPSA working group is to raise awareness regarding children's psychological needs during epidemics and report early data collected in the COVID-19–affected areas in China during the current outbreak, emphasizing the role of families and caregivers in the timely recognition and management of negative emotions.

COVID-19 in Children and Adolescents in Europe: A Multinational, Multicentre Cohort Study

AUTHOR(S)
Petra Prunk; Veronika Osterman; Uros Krivec; et al.

Published: June 2020   The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
To date, few data on paediatric COVID-19 have been published, and most reports originate from China. This study aimed to capture key data on children and adolescents with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection across Europe to inform physicians and health-care service planning during the ongoing pandemic.
Migrant and displaced children in the age of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Danzen You; Naomi Lindt; Rose Allen; et al.

Published: June 2020   Migration Policy Practice

This article examines the socioeconomic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for children on the move across four dimensions: poverty, survival and health, learning and protection and safety.  It also considers how new laws and regulations enacted in response to the pandemic are impacting these children. It then suggests the necessary policies and actions to protect this intensely vulnerable population. 
Many displaced children will see their family’s income shrink or disappear and, globally, poverty levels are expected to worsen. Vulnerable populations are predicted to disproportionately bear the brunt of this economic contraction. Poor health systems and disrupted health services – a reality for many migrant and displaced children – are likely to further weaken, placing children at risk of intensified hardship, both physical and psychological. The crowded conditions and poor access to proper water and sanitation common among families living in displacement pose obvious risks at a time when social distancing and hygiene are so critical.  
Migrant and displaced learners regularly encounter obstacles in accessing education, and the online materials and remote classrooms functioning around the world today may be far from their reach. They are at risk of falling further behind in school. And given that economic downturns typically lead to more children working, getting pregnant or married, and being trafficked or sexually exploited, migrant and displaced children – who already face great risks to their safety — stand to see their situation worsen. Domestic violence is on the rise globally, and accounts of stigma and discrimination against the displaced are also increasing. The increasing global death toll means some migrant and displaced children will be orphaned and become vulnerable to child protection abuses.  

COVID-19 in 7780 pediatric patients: A systematic review

AUTHOR(S)
Ansel Hoang; Kevin Chorat; Axel Moreira; et al.

Published: June 2020   E Clinical Medicine
This review characterizes clinical symptoms, laboratory, and imaging findings, as well as therapies provided to 7780 confirmed pediatric cases of COVID-19. Evidence shows that that children diagnosed with COVID-19 have an overall good prognosis. Future longitudinal studies are needed to confirm our findings and better understand which patients are at increased risk for developing severe inflammation and multiorgan failure.
Impact of COVID -19 on children: special focus on the psychosocial aspect

AUTHOR(S)
Ritwik Ghosh; Mahua J. Dubei; Subhankar Chatterjee; Souvik Dubei

Published: June 2020   Minerva Pediatrica
Although medical literature shows that children are minimally susceptible to 2019-Corona virus disease (COVID-19), they are hit the hardest by psychosocial impact of this pandemic. Being quarantined in homes and institutions may impose greater psychological burden than the physical sufferings caused by the virus. School closure, lack of outdoor activity, aberrant dietary and sleeping habits are likely to disrupt children’s usual lifestyle and can potentially promote monotony, distress, impatience, annoyance and varied neuropsychiatric manifestations. Incidences of domestic violence, child abuse, adulterated online contents are on the rise. Children of single parent and frontline workers suffer unique problems. The children from marginalized communities are particularly susceptible to the infection and may suffer from extended ill-consequences of this pandemic, such as child labor, child trafficking, child marriage, sexual exploitation and death etc. Parents, pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, hospital authorities, government and non-governmental organizations have important roles to play to mitigate the psychosocial ill-effects of COVID-19 on children and adolescents. To provide the basic amenities, social security, medical care, and to minimize the educational inequities among the children of the different strata of the society are foremost priorities.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 72 | Issue: 3 | No. of pages: 226-35 | Language: English | Tags: child mental health, domestic violence, COVID-19 | Topics: Mental Health
Children's (in)visibility in social vulnerability and the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

AUTHOR(S)
Marialda Moreira Christoffel; Ana Leticia Monteiro Gomes; Tania Vignuda de Souza; Lia Leao Ciuffo

Published: June 2020   Revista brasileira de enfermagem

This reflective study is based on discursive formulation in three aspects: principles of the objectives and goals for the millennium sustainable development; impact of the pandemic on the health of children and their families living in social vulnerability; and the role of pediatric nursing in the care provided - limits and challenges. In January 2020, the news of COVID 19 is released as a pandemic. In Brazil, children and families are still without access to basic rights, thereby increasing their risks of social vulnerability because of the quarantine. The nursing field has an important role in monitoring children and their families, offering guidance in search for solutions and preventing contamination. There are still challenges to be overcome by the children and their families in situations of vulnerability against COVID-19.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 29 | Issue: 73 (Supplement 2) | Language: English | Tags: child care, child health, poor children, SDGs, COVID-19, vulnerable children | Topics: Child Protection | Countries: Brazil
Will COVID-19 pandemic-associated lockdown increase myopia in Indian children?

AUTHOR(S)
Muthu Sumitha; Srinivasan Sunjay; Vasudha Kemmanu; et al.

Published: June 2020   Indian Journal of Ophtalmology
Like most other Asian countries, India has also seen a gradual increase in the incidence and prevalence of myopia. Increased screen‑time, prolonged near work, reduced outdoor activities are some of the important risk factors for myopia according to various studies. Countries like China, where schools have replaced books with tablets and computers, evidently have a higher incidence of myopia.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 68 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 1496 | Language: English | Tags: child health, COVID-19 | Topics: Health | Countries: India
Domestic violence during COVID-19: the GP role.

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy Gibson

Published: June 2020   British Journal of General Practice

Threatened by COVID-19, the world has been on lockdown. But within the walls of their own homes many women face an enemy more terrifying than COVID-19. The domestic abuse charity Refuge reported a 700% increase in calls in a single day.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 70 | Issue: 696 | No. of pages: 340 | Language: English | Tags: domestic violence, COVID-19 | Topics: Child Protection
Comment les enfants et adolescents avec le trouble déficit d’attention/hyperactivité (TDAH) vivent-ils le confinement durant la pandémie COVID-19 ?

AUTHOR(S)
E. Bobo; L. Lin; E. Acquaviva; et al.

Published: June 2020   L'Encéphale
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the French government has decided a general lockdown. This unprecedented situation has raised concerns about children's and adolescent's mental health. Children and adolescents diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may find this context of restrained activity particularly tricky. The objectives of our study are to gather information about the well-being and global life conditions of children and adolescents with ADHD during the COVID-19 outbreak in France.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 46 | Issue: 3, Supplement | No. of pages: 585-592 | Language: French | Tags: child mental health, COVID-19, lockdown | Topics: Mental Health
Risks to Bangladeshi children and young people during covid-19 outbreak

AUTHOR(S)
Sazedur Rahman; Zohra S. Lassi; Sheikh Mohammad Shariful Islam

Published: June 2020   BMJ

Children and young people are at higher risk of adverse health outcomes including obesity, neglect, and abuse by parents, and thus are more prone to mental health and chronic health issues during the covid-19 pandemic. The current lockdown situation has led children and young people into a sedentary lifestyle, which might increase the incidence of obesity 

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 369 | Tags: child health, COVID-19, lockdown | Topics: Health | Countries: Bangladesh
O uso intensivo da internet por crianças e adolescentes no contexto da COVID-19 e os riscos para violências autoinflingidas

AUTHOR(S)
Suely Ferreira Deslandes; Tiago Coutinho

Published: June 2020   Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
This article aimed to discuss the implications of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the intensive use of the internet among children and adolescents and its possible consequences for the practice of self-inflicted violence. We briefly discussed the anxiogenic potential and the reproduction of a “global fear” that are consolidated with the massive and unmediated exposure of the content consumed, which can increase the vulnerabilities to stress and suicidal ideas. We centered our debate on “recreational” practices, called “challenges” with self-harm power, carried out by teenagers on the YouTube website. This practice has been shown to increase with the social isolation measures. Our reflection on these risks builds on the theoretical perspective of digital sociability, and its implications for the internet-mediated interactions of adolescents.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 25 | Issue: 1 | Language: Portuguese | Tags: child mental health, internet, social behaviour, COVID-19, lockdown | Topics: Mental Health
Impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak on movement and play behaviours of Canadian children and youth: a national survey

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah A. Moore; Guy Faulkner; Ryan E. Rhodes

Published: June 2020   International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (IJBNPA)
Healthy childhood development is fostered through sufficient physical activity (PA; including time outdoors), limiting sedentary behaviours (SB), and adequate sleep; collectively known as movement behaviours. Though the COVID-19 virus outbreak has changed the daily lives of children and youth, it is unknown to what extent related restrictions may compromise the ability to play and meet movement behaviour recommendations. This secondary data analysis examined the immediate impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on movement and play behaviours in children and youth.
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UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.