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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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Children and COVID19: understanding impact on the growth trajectory of an evolving generation

AUTHOR(S)
S. Haleemunnissa; Siyaram Didel; Mukesh Kumar Swami (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The objective of this paper is to look at both the positive & negative effects in children due to COVID19 related indirect effects following lockdown and other containment measures. There is a need to gear up in advance with psychological strategies to deal with it post the pandemic by involving all stakeholders (parents, teachers, paediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, counsellors), proposing an integrated approach to help the children to overcome the pandemic aftermath.
Maintaining human milk bank services throughout the COVID‐19 pandemic: a global response

AUTHOR(S)
Natalie Shenker; Marta Staff; Amy Vickers (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Maternal & Child Nutrition

If maternal milk is unavailable, the World Health Organization recommends that the first alternative should be pasteurised donor human milk (DHM). Human milk banks (HMBs) screen and recruit milk donors, and DHM principally feeds very low birth weight babies, reducing the risk of complications and supporting maternal breastfeeding where used alongside optimal lactation support. The COVID‐19 pandemic has presented a range of challenges to HMBs worldwide. This study aimed to understand the impacts of the pandemic on HMB services and develop initial guidance regarding risk limitation.


Measuring and mitigating child hunger in the UK

AUTHOR(S)
Aveek Bhattacharya; Jake Shepherd

Published: December 2020
Food insecurity, and particularly child hunger, has been a source of growing social and political concern for the best part of a decade. There are fears that COVID-19, and the economic shutdowns brought in its wake, will make it even worse. That has drawn substantial public attention to the issue – not least as a result of a high-profile campaign from Marcus Rashford and his Child Food Poverty Taskforce and subsequent changes in Government policy on support for children in England on free school meals through the school holidays. Campaigners have long argued that there is inadequate data on food insecurity and child hunger in the UK. In 2019, the Government incorporated a battery of questions on the topic into its Family Resources Survey. However, the 2019/20 results will not be published until March 2021, and it will be 2022 until we have data covering the period of the pandemic. In this report, we attempt to fill that breach, providing initial findings on the level of food insecurity in the UK, as well as the impact of the pandemic.
Counting the cost: COVID-19 school closures in South Africa and its impact on children

AUTHOR(S)
Nic Spaull; Servaas van der Berg

Published: December 2020   Journal: South African Journal of Childhood Education

When the new coronavirus rapidly spread across the globe, the impact of the virus on children was still unclear, and closing schools seemed the responsible thing to do. But much has been learnt since about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the effects of lockdown and school closures, both in South Africa and internationally. This article aims  to show that the mortality risk of the virus is extremely small for children, even when assuming an extremely pessimistic scenario for total COVID-19 deaths.

Feeding students during COVID-19—related school closures: a nationwide assessment of initial responses

AUTHOR(S)
Gabriella M. McLoughlin; Sheila Fleischhacker; Amelie A. Hecht (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

This study aims to conduct a nationwide assessment of child nutrition administrative agencies’ responses to meal service provision during coronavirus disease 2019–related school closures. Systematic coding of government websites (February–May 2020) regarding school meal provision in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, 5 US territories, and the US Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Education.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 52 | Issue: 12 | No. of pages: 1120-1130 | Language: English | Topics: Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, food policies, nutrition policy, school attendance, COVID-19 response, lockdown | Countries: United States
Exploring the impacts of COVID-19 on Rohingya adolescents in Cox's Bazar: a mixed-methods study

AUTHOR(S)
Silvia Guglielmi ; Jennifer Seager; Khadija Mitu (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Migration and Health
This article explores how intersecting vulnerabilities faced by Rohingya adolescents living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the direct health impacts and the indirect repercussions of COVID-19 mitigation strategies have served to heighten pre-existing risks, preventing adolescents from reaching their full capabilities. This article provides empirical mixed-methods data from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) longitudinal study, drawing on phone surveys adolescents aged 10–14 and 15–19 (1,761), qualitative interviews with adolescents aged 15–19 years (30), and key infor- mant interviews conducted between March and August 2020 with both Rohingya and Bangladeshi adolescents residing in refugee camps and host communities, respectively.
L'impact de la COVID-19 et Ebola chez les enfants en Republique democratique du Congo
Institution: Save the Children
Published: November 2020
The purpose of this study was to enable Save the Children to understand and identify the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ebola epidemic on children. This study, its results and recommendations will be shared with different stakeholders to adapt our responses and interventions to save thousands of children's lives.
COVID-19: a one-way ticket to a global childhood obesity crisis?

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Cuschieri; Stephan Grech

Published: November 2020   Journal: Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders
Obesity is a global epidemic based on three major pillars of (i) genetic (ii) behavioural and (iii) environmental determinants. The latter two pillars have been challenged during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic across all population age groups including children. The closure of schools resulted in decreased organised physical activity, increase in sedentary lifestyle and screen time with the possibility of stress-induced indulgence in high calorie dense and sugary foods, resulting in higher susceptibility to weight gain. The uncertainty faced by many Northern Hemisphere governments as the new scholastic year looms closer whether to open schools again or not further enhances the stress on the children and their family.
Tackling childhood stunting in the Eastern Mediterranean region in the context of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Ayoub Al Jawaldeh; Radhouene Doggui; Elaine Borghi (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Children
Over 20 million children under 5 years old in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region have stunted growth, as a result of chronic malnutrition, with damaging long-term consequences for individuals and societies. This review extracted and analyzed data from the UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank malnutrition estimates to present an overall picture of childhood stunting in the region. The number of children under 5 in the region who are affected by stunting has dropped from 24.5 million (40%) in 1990 to 20.6 million (24.2%) in 2019. The reduction rate since the 2012 baseline is only about two fifths of that required and much more rapid progress will be needed to reach the internationally agreed targets by 2025 and 2030. Prevalence is highest in low-income countries and those with a lower Human Development Index. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undermine efforts to reduce stunting, through its impact on access and affordability of safe and nutritious foods and access to important health services.
COVID-19 and food security in Ethiopia: do social protection programs protect?

AUTHOR(S)
Kibrom A. Abay; Guush Berhane; John Hoddinott (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2020
This paper assesses the impact of Ethiopia's flagship social protection program, the Productive Safety Net Program on the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food and nutrition security of households, mothers, and children. The analysis uses pre-pandemic, in-person household survey data and a post-pandemic phone survey. Two-thirds of the respondents reported that their incomes had fallen after the pandemic began, and almost half reported that their ability to satisfy their food needs had worsened. Employing a household fixed effects difference-in-difference approach, the study finds that household food insecurity increased by 11.7 percentage points and the size of the food gap by 0.47 months in the aftermath of the onset of the pandemic.
Omics study reveals abnormal alterations of breastmilk proteins and metabolites in puerperant women with COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Yin Zhao; You Shang; Yujie Ren (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Pediatric Research
The nutrition contents of breastmilk directly participate in neonatal immune response. The alternations of the components of breastmilk under the context of viral infection not only reflect the physiological changes in mothers but also affect neonatal immunity and metabolism via breastfeeding. Herein, this paper attempts to answer the important questions whether breastmilk production is affected by COVID-19 and whether breastfeeding is still a safe or recommended operation for COVID-19 puerperant women.
Food insecurity measurement and prevalence estimates during the COVID-19 pandemic in a repeated cross-sectional survey in Mexico

AUTHOR(S)
Pablo Gaitán-Rossi; Mireya Vilar-Compte; Graciela Teruel (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

The aim of this study was validate the telephone modality of the Latin American and Caribbean Food Security Scale (ELCSA) included in three waves of a phone survey to estimate the monthly household food insecurity prevalence during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico. The reliability and internal validity of the ELCSA scale has been examined in three repeated waves of cross-sectional surveys with Rasch models. The monthly prevalence of food insecurity in the general population and in households with and without children has been estimated and compared them with a national 2018 survey. Concurrent validity has also been tested by testing associations of food insecurity with socio-economic status and anxiety.

Emergency food security monitoring system: measuring the impact of Covid-19 on food security and vulnerability in Sierra Leone
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: October 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak is posing an unprecedented context that has greatly tested the resolve and resilience of the global population. Whilst Sierra Leone may not have recorded a high COVID-19 caseload, the impact on economic and social activities has evidently been profound, triggering the not too distant memories of the 2014-15 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. The June 2020 Emergency Food Security Monitoring System again provides critical and timely data to enhance our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerability and food security. Concerningly, the E-FSMS again shows an increase in the proportion of food insecure Sierra Leoneans, from 47 percent in January 2020 to 63 percent in June 2020, demonstrating the considerable impact of COVID-19 on households that rely on fragile livelihoods.
Using a rapid assessment methodology to identify and address immediate needs among low-income households with children during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Shreela V. Sharma; Amier Haidar; Jacqueline Noyola (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Plos One
Brighter Bites is a school-based health promotion program that delivers fresh produce and nutrition education to low-income children and families. Due to COVID-19-related school closures, states were under “shelter in place” orders, and Brighter Bites administered a rapid assessment survey to identify social needs among their families. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the methodology used to identify those with greatest social needs during this time (“high risk”), and to describe the response of Brighter Bites to these “high risk” families.
Social determinants of health–related needs during COVID-19 among low-income households with children

AUTHOR(S)
Shreela V. Sharma; Ru-Jye Chuang; Melinda Rushing (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Preventing Chronic Disease
Little is known about the social needs of low-income households with children during the coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This rapid-response survey examines social needs, COVID-19–related concerns, and diet-related behaviors during the shelter-in-place phase of the US pandemic among low-income households with children enrolled in a nutrition program. Results show higher levels of financial instability; concerns about unemployment, food insecurity, and COVID-19; and reduced frequency of eating out and grocery shopping.
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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.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

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.