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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 58
COVID-19 and children’s screen time in Ceará, Brazil: a repeated cross-sectional survey

Hermano Alexandre Lima Rocha; Luciano Lima Correia; Álvaro Jorge Madeiro Leite (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Children and Media
The present study assessed changes in screen time exposure among 3–6-year-old children in Ceará, Brazil, in 2017 and in 2020 during the pandemic. Data from a state-wide repeated cross-sectional survey were analyzed. The COVID impact research was conducted by phone interviews. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines were used to define elevated screen exposure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of children with screen exposure above recommended levels was 96.8% among 3–4-year-old and 84.2% among 5–6-year-old children. There was a significant increase in proportion of 3–4-year-old children with elevated screen time (risk difference 15.8%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 12.3–19.2; p-value < 0.001). Children participating in remote learning activities had significantly lower television time with a mean difference of −0.8 hours daily (95% CI −0.3 – −1.3; p-value: 0.003) as compared to children not participating in remote learning. The necessary COVID-19 response measures appear to increase screen time among 3–6-year-old children in Ceará, Brazil. Interventions to reduce excess screen time, potentially participation in remote early learning activities should be developed and evaluated in Brazil.
Comparison of the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in children and adolescents in a middle-income country: Clinical impact associated with SARS-CoV-2 gamma lineage

Eduardo A. Oliveira; Ana Cristina Simões e Silva; Maria Christina L. Oliveira (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: The Journal of Pediatrics

To evaluate the severity and clinical outcomes of the SARS-CoV-2 gamma variant in children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in Brazil. In this observational retrospective cohort study, we performed an analysis of all 21,591 hospitalized patients aged < 20 years with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection registered in a national database in Brazil. The cohort was divided into two groups according to the predominance of SARS-CoV-2 lineages (WAVE1, n = 11,574 and WAVE2, n = 10,017). The characteristics of interest were age, sex, geographic region, ethnicity, clinical presentation, and comorbidities. The primary outcome was time to death, which was evaluated by competing-risks analysis, using cumulative incidence function. A predictive Fine-Gray competitive risks model was developed based on WAVE1 cohort with temporal validation in WAVE2 cohort.

Infants’ and toddlers’ digital media use and mothers’ mental health: a comparative study before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bruna Gabriella Pedrotti; Manoela Yustas Mallmann; Carla Regina Santos Almeida (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
This study compared children's and mothers’ digital media use and mothers’ mental health in two samples: one accessed before (Group 1; N = 257; M = 33.18 years; SD = 4.79) and the other accessed during (Group 2; N = 256; M = 33.51 years; SD = 4.96) the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Mothers of children up to 3 years old (Group 1: M = 17.95 months, SD = 9.85; Group 2: M = 16.48 months, SD = 10.15) answered an online survey. Bivariate analysis, factorial ANOVA tests, and multiple linear regression were performed. Results suggest that mothers’ and children's media use duration was higher during the pandemic only among children over 12 months. Mothers’ media use duration (β = .18) and mothers’ intention to offer media (β = .23) contributed to the explanation of children's media use duration (F(4, 474) = 16.81; p < .001; R2 = .12; R2 adjusted = .117). Higher mothers’ common mental disorders symptoms were also positively correlated to mothers’ intention to offer media to children both before and during the pandemic. Results suggest that interventions focusing on infants and toddlers screen time reduction should target maternal aspects such as mental health, maternal screen time, and intention to offer media, taking into account the mothers’ needs when planning these actions.
Fear, changes in routine and dental care for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in the COVID-19 pandemic: a survey with Brazilian parents

Bárbara Azevedo Machado; Juliana Silva Moro; Carla Massignam (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Special Care In Dentistry

This study aimed to report the perception of parents of children/adolescents with autism regarding the parents’ fear of the pandemic by COVID-19. Also, to report children's fear about the use of individual protective equipment (IPE) in dental appointments, and the impact on the daily routine during the pandemic. A cross-sectional study through an open online survey was addressed to parents of children/adolescents autistic, aged between 3 and 18 years. The questionnaire had questions regarding the parents’ fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parents’ perception about the children/adolescents’ fear of the use of IPEs at dental care, and the impact of the daily routine during the pandemic and social impact after the pandemic. Parents' reports on the degree of ASD (mild, moderate, and severe) of the child/adolescent. A total of 1001 responses were obtained. 50.35% of parents had high fear of the pandemic by COVID-19, 59.34% believe that children/teenagers will be afraid of the dentist's IPE and 61.64% responded that the COVID-19 pandemic had a high impact on the daily routine of children/adolescents with ASD.

Mental health of Brazilian adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marilisa Berti de Azevedo Barros; Margareth Guimarães Lima; Deborah Carvalho Malta (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Psychiatry Research Communications
This study aimed to assess the factors associated with frequent sadness and nervousness in Brazilian adolescents, during the Covid-19 pandemic, in 9470 adolescents (aged 12–17 years), interviewed from June 27 to September 17, 2020. Prevalences and prevalence ratios were estimated according to socio-demographic variables and factors related to family, school, friends, and health. Brazilian adolescents often felt sad (32.4%) and nervous (48.7%). Higher prevalences of these feelings were related to: being female; aged 15–17 year; from families with financial difficulties; having learned little or nothing with remote education; missing friends; having few friends; family disagreements; having regular/bad health before the pandemic; and worsened health and sleep during the pandemic. Higher prevalence of nervousness was also found in adolescents who worked before the pandemic and those who reported lack of concentration and not knowing if they had COVID-19. Sadness and nervousness in Brazilian adolescents is high and the need for action by the government, schools, health services, and parents to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the physical and mental health of adolescents. Special attention must be paid to adolescents with previous health problems and those belonging to the most socially vulnerable population.
Social inequalities and extreme vulnerability of children and adolescents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Aloísio Antônio Gomes de Matos; Kimberly Virginin Cruz Correia da Silva; Jucier Gonçalves Júnior (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

This study aims to identify the hidden orphans and to reinforce existing monitoring systems. Orphanhood is a public health issue, and it primarily evidences existing geopolitical tensions. Thus, this study emphasises the strong naturalisation of social inequalities and the extreme vulnerability of children and adolescents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 continues to tear families apart, leaving the children of deceased parents with even fewer options than before the pandemic. In Brazil, one child is orphaned by COVID-19 every 5 min. This is an alarming estimate, especially in the most vulnerable and underprivileged regions of the country, such as the North and Northeast. Current evidence emphasises that at every three million deaths due to the pandemic, more than 1.5 million children lose their mothers, fathers or primary caregivers (usually grandparents). This may be very traumatic for children. In this context, Brazil is the second country in the world with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, reducing caregiving options among family members.

Home-based exercise program for adolescents with juvenile dermatomyositis quarantined during COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed methods study

Camilla Astley; Sofia Mendes Sieczkowska; Isabela Gouveia Marques (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Pediatric Rheumatology
Exercise has been suggested to prevent deterioration of health-related quality of life (HRQL) and overall health in pediatric rheumatologic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein we describe the effects of a 12-week, home-based, exercise program on overall health and quality of life among quarantined patients with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM). Method: This prospective, quasi-experimental, mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) study was conducted between July and December 2020, during the most restricted period of COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. The homebased exercise program consisted of a 12-week, three-times-a-week, aerobic and strengthening (bodyweight) training program. Qualitative data were systematically evaluated. Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQOL) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) evaluate symptoms of mental health disorder, HRQL, and quality of sleep.
Risk factors for severe COVID-19 infection in Brazilian children

Jordana Vaz Hendler; Patricia Miranda do Lago; Gabriel Cardozo Müller (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases
The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological characteristics and clinical outcome of children hospitalized with COVID-19 and identify the risk factors for severe disease. All hospital admissions of pediatric patients between March and December 2020 in the southern region of Brazil were reviewed and the patients positive for RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 were identified. This region encompasses a population of over 2.8 million children and adolescents. Data were extracted from a national database that includes all cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome requiring hospitalization in Brazil.
Physical and mental health impacts during COVID-19 quarantine in adolescents with preexisting chronic immunocompromised conditions

Livia Lindoso; Camilla Astley; Ligia Bruni Queiroz (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Jornal de Pediatria

This study aims to evaluate physical and mental health indicators in adolescents with preexisting chronic immunocompromised conditions during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quarantine. A cross-sectional study included 355 adolescents with chronic conditions and 111 healthy adolescents. An online self-rated survey was used to investigate socio-demographic features, healthcare routine, and the quarantine impact on physical and mental health. The validated self-reported version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was also applied.

Postpartum depressive symptoms of Brazilian women during the COVID-19 pandemic measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Marco Aurélio Knippel Galletta; Ana Maria da Silva Sousa Oliveira; Jéssica Gorrão Lopes Albertini (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to concerns about its potential impact on the mental health of pregnant and postpartum women as the general postpartum depression rates increased. Three postpartum questionnaires (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale – EPDS; Anxiety and Depression Scale – HAD; and a demographic questionnaire about isolation and information acquisition) were used to evaluate the mental health of women with and without COVID-19 and determine the factors associated with depressive symptoms (EPDS ≥ 12).

Children's behavioral problems, screen time, and sleep problems' association with negative and positive parenting strategies during the COVID-19 outbreak in Brazil

T. D. O. Oliveira; D. S. Costa; A. Alvim-Soares (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Families' health, safety, and economic stability were jeopardized during the pandemic. Parental stress is a risk factor for hostile and less supportive parenting. Parenting styles are a set of attitudes, feelings and behaviors related to parenting that modulate the child's psychosocial functioning and might impact on the adaptability to a stressful time. This study aims to investigate the group differences among children raised by negative and positive parenting families during COVID-19 pandemic.

Epidemiological study of violence against children and its increase during the COVID-19 pandemic

Stela Maria Tavolieri de Oliveira; Ewerton Alexandre Galdeano; Evelynne Maria Gomes Galvão da Trindade (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The aim of this study was to identify the epidemiological profiles of violence against children, victims, and their aggressors, and their correlations between socioeconomic and demographic factors analyzed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a cross-sectional, retrospective observational study based on a review of Individual Notification Forms from the Information System for Notifiable Diseases, including child victims of violence, under 18 years, assisted by a pediatric emergency service in Brazil, from 2016–2020. Data were stratified, then statistical analysis was performed using the two-proportion equality test and the Chi-square test, with p < 0.05 and a 95% confidence interval. A total of 609 notifications were analyzed and a prevalence of sexual violence (63.2%) was reported. The prevalent profile of victim was female (76.7%), aged between 2–9 years (38.1%) and 14–18 years (35.6%). The violence occurs in the victim’s home (58.9%). The prevalent profile of perpetrator was male (82.4%), young adolescent (59.2%), living as family (64%), mainly the parents (18.4%).
Sleep quality among parents and their children during COVID-19 pandemic in a Southern - Brazilian sample

Luis Eduardo Wearick-Silva; Samanta Andresa Richter; Thiago Wendt Viola (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Jornal de Pediatria

This study aims to evaluate sleep characteristics of parents and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic and predictors for sleep disturbances. Cross-sectional web-based study using an online survey made available for dyads of parents and their children during the 7th week of quarantine in southern Brazil. Parents' and adolescents’ sleep were characterized using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. For children aged 0-3 years parents completed the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire, for those aged 4-12 years the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children. Parents also informed, subjectively, their perception about sleep habits during social distancing. Multiple regression was run to predict sleep disturbances in adults using independent variables: sex, income, education, children age, and children with sleep disturbances.

Stigma, guilt and motherhood: experiences of pregnant women with COVID-19 in Brazil

Juliana Vasconcellos Freitas-Jesus; Odette Del Risco Sánchez; Larissa Rodrigues (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Women and Birth

The COVID-19 pandemic raises health issues worldwide. Infected pregnant women may have negative mental health outcomes, but little is known about their emotional experiences.This study aimed to understand the experience of women infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy, regarding their feelings, their relationships, and the influence of social media.

Home food insecurity during the suspension of classes in Brazilian public schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Food insecurity among students in the COVID-19 pandemic

Érica Costa Rodrigues; Raquel de Deus Mendonça; Priscila Pena Camargo (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Nutrition

This study aimed to evaluate the effect of socioeconomic conditions and variables related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the food insecurity of students during suspension of classes in public schools. It was conducted by telephone survey (n = 612) with adults responsible for purchasing food through representative samples of students' in two Brazilian municipalities between June and July 2020.

16 - 30 of 58

UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.

The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.

The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.