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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries
COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis.

High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline.

This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children. 
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries
COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis.

High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline.

This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children. 
Worlds of Influence: Understanding What Shapes Child Well-being in Rich Countries

A new look at children from the world’s richest countries offers a mixed picture of their health, skills and happiness. For far too many, issues such as poverty, exclusion and pollution threaten their mental well-being, physical health and opportunities to develop skills. Even countries with good social, economic and environmental conditions are a long way from meeting the targets set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Focused and accelerated action is needed if these goals are to be met.

The evidence from 41 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) countries tells its own story: from children’s chances of survival, growth and protection, to whether they are learning and feel listened to, to whether their parents have the support and resources to give their children the best chance for a healthy, happy childhood. This report reveals children’s experiences against the backdrop of their country’s policies and social, educational, economic and environmental contexts.

Should Coronavirus Disease 2019–Associated Inflammatory Syndromes in Children Affect Social Reintegration?

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Portman; Rolando Cimaz

Published: June 2020   Journal: JAMA Pediatrics
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) appears to induce this new condition, which has been called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS) or pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) and described in detail by investigators in Europe and New York, New York. Pediatric inflammatory syndromes presumably triggered by SARS-CoV-2 exposure deserve heightened awareness because they have critical and potentially life-altering outcomes on affected children. However, unless a substantial increase in case numbers occurs over the coming months, these syndromes remain rare and should not be used to substantially change decisions affecting millions of schoolchildren, given the negative outcomes of delaying school reopenings. These include adverse outcomes on child mental health and learning. Additionally, school delays will produce further societal inequities.
Effects of COVID‐19 Lockdown on Lifestyle Behaviors in Children with Obesity Living in Verona, Italy: A Longitudinal Study

AUTHOR(S)
Angelo Pietrobelli; Luca Pecorato; Alessandro Ferruzzi (et al.)

Published: April 2020   Journal: Obesity Society

 The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had far-reaching health, social, and economic implications. Among them is the abrupt cessation of school programs for children and adolescents in Italy who by mandate had to remain in their homes during the “lockdown” aimed at containing and mitigating spread of COVID19. There are reasons to be concerned about housebound children and adolescents who have overweight and obesity; previous studies have supported the hypothesis that these youths will fare worse on weight-control lifestyle programs while at home compared with when they are engaged in their usual school curriculum.

1).
have supported the hypothesis that these youths will fare worse on
weight-control lifestyle programs while at home compared with when
they are engaged in their usual school curriculum (1)
Family violence and COVID‐19: Increased vulnerability and reduced options for support

AUTHOR(S)
Kim Usher; Navjot Bhullar; Joanne Durkin (et al.)

Published: April 2020   Journal: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
The fear and uncertainty associated with pandemics provide an enabling environment that may exacerbate or spark diverse forms of violence. Actions such as social distancing, sheltering in place, restricted travel, and closures of key community resources are likely to dramatically increase the risk of family violence. Governments and policymakers must create awareness about an increased risk of violence during pandemics and highlight the need for people to keep in touch with each other (while observing precautionary measures) and the great importance of reporting any concerns of abuse. It is important to remember that maintaining social connectedness is an important strategy during times of isolation, even more so with family or friends you suspect may be at risk of family violence. In addition, information about services available locally (e.g. hotlines, tele‐health, respite services, shelters, rape crisis centres, and counselling) must be made known to the general public through a range of sources, including social media, the mainstream media, and health facilities. Mental health professionals can support people by providing first‐line psychological support, including listening empathetically and without judgment, enquiring about needs and concerns, validating peoples’ experiences and feelings, enhancing safety, and connecting people to relevant support services.
The Impact of COVID-19 on children
Institution: United Nations
Published: April 2020

The UN Secretary-General has launched a policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on children. The brief lays out the ways in which the virus will impact children.  Whilst they appear largely to be spared the worst symptoms of the disease, they may well be among the biggest victims of the crisis in the long run because their education, nutrition, safety and health will be significantly undermined by the socioeconomic impact and by unintended consequences of the pandemic response. The harmful effects of this pandemic will not be distributed equally. They are expected to be most damaging for children in the poorest countries, and in the poorest neighbourhoods, and for those in already disadvantaged or vulnerable situations. This policy brief provides a deeper analysis of these effects. It identifies also a series of immediate and sustained actions for the attention of governments and policymakers.

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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.