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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The associations between accelerometer-measured physical activity levels and mental health in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Wen Yang; Ming Hui Li; Jane Jie Yu (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
This study aims to examine the associations between physical activity (PA) levels and mental health in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (IDs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, 117 participants aged between 6 and 17 years with IDs from 10 Hong Kong special schools were included. There were positive dose–response associations between PA (i.e., light PA, moderate PA, and vigorous PA) and mental health, and participants with higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and self-concept (SC) had better social quality of life (QoL) than those with lower levels of MVPA and SC. Moreover, personal and environmental factors such as age, body mass index, school, sex, ID level, and parental education level influenced the PA levels and QoL in children and adolescents with IDs.
Sport parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic: perceptions of parents and youth in Australia

Sam Elliott; Aurélie Pankowiak; Rochelle Eime (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Psychology of Sport and Exercise
Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parental involvement in youth sport is largely unknown. The objective of the study presented in this paper was to understand parental involvement in relation to their child’s participation in organised sport during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using an interpretive descriptive methodology, online qualitative interviews and online focus groups with parents and youth (15–18 years) (n = 29) were conducted during June 2020. Following a rigorous reflexive thematic analysis, four themes illustrated the nature of sport parenting during this stressful and uncertain period: (a) reshaping sport parenting identity, (b) the unexpected growth of sport parenting responsibilities, (c) responding to children’s loss of sport, and (d) policies impact family commitment and attitudes to returning to sport. The findings are discussed considering Harwood and Knight’s (2015) postulates of parenting expertise in sport and offer potential ideas to better support parents and children situated in unexpectedly stressful situations.
Lessons from the health policies for children during the pandemic in Japan

Naohisa Shobako

Published: October 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health
It is everyone's desire to seek the sound growth of children through food education and there is a critical need for fostering an environment for this purpose. Health policies are important for this support. To the present, the Japanese society has been greatly disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic. “Stay at home”, “mokusyoku (silent eating)”, and mask wearing were encouraged in nationwide campaigns as public health measures to combat COVID-19. There are some papers reporting negative effects of “stay at home” and lockdowns such as weight gain, decrease in physical activities and change in eating habits. In Japan, while benefits and advantages of food education during mealtime were previously well studied, the “mokusyoku” rule may directly run counter to this food education. Moreover, there are several reports showing that nutrients might contribute to prevention of infectious diseases. Japanese children were also encouraged to wear masks all day long. The results of the clinical research, especially randomized control trials, show limited protective effect of masks. On the other hand, negative outcomes of the masks were reported in various scenes. This review focuses on these topics and arousing reconsideration for a better environment for children.
The consequences of the restrictive measures due to two strict Covid-19 lockdowns on self-reported physical activity in adolescents

Ermioni S. Katartzi; Maria G. Kontou; Ioannis Pappas (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science

Restrictions due to COVID-19 lockdowns reduced the possibilities of children and adolescents for being active, with negative consequences in adopting a healthy lifestyle. This study aims to compare Greek adolescents’ self-reported weekly participation in physical activity, during and before the two initial strict lockdowns, due to COVID-19. Secondary aims were to examine these differences with regard to gender, and associations between weekly physical activity participation with health status variables. Three hundred and sixty-three adolescents (Ν=363) from secondary schools, in the Greek territory (108 boys and 255 girls) filled in the Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire and the TNO-AZL Questionnaire for Children’s Health-Related Quality of Life Children’s Form, online. It was a cross-sectional study and data were collected during first and second strict lockdowns, from different adolescents who filled in the above online questionnaires once.

Body mass index increased at a large Midwestern children's hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic

Robert Siegel; Philip Khoury; S. Andrew Spooner (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Childhood Obesity

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a great challenge to children and their families with stay-at-home orders, school closures, decreased exercise opportunities, stress, and potential overeating with home confinement. This study describes the body mass index (BMI) changes over an entire decade, including a year of the COVID-19 pandemic at a large children's hospital. With this retrospective observational study, data were extracted from Cincinnati Children's Hospital's Epic electronic medical record, a free-standing children's hospital with 670 inpatient beds and >1.2 million patient encounters per year. Children aged 19 years and under with at least one height and weight were included in the analysis.

Increased Incidence of obesity in children and adolescents post-COVID-19 pandemic: a review article

Sushmita Jha; Ashok M. Mehendale

Published: September 2022   Journal: Cureus

The recent coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has immensely impacted all classes of society, but the effects on children and adolescents are much more pronounced than on others. While obesity and its comorbidities in children and adolescents have always been a concern, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be one of the leading causes of health problems in children and adolescents worldwide, leading to various complications. Hence, understanding its long-term sequelae is of utmost importance. The role of physicians in family counseling, nutrition counseling, and diet education is vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The BMI (body mass index) measurements and retrospective cohort studies of various individuals are useful for the pertinent research. During the pandemic, social isolation, staying at home, increased screen time due to online classes, reduced outdoor activities, and more snacking are some of the contributing factors that have increased the prevalence of obesity and further morbidities associated with it. Multiple studies and guidelines are available for combating these issues; still, an increasing number of such cases have been encountered in routine outpatient department (OPD) practice. As opposed to specific infectious illnesses, obesity and its comorbidities are non-infectious, and a slow-growing silent risk; hence parents approach the pediatrician quite late in the disease process. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, every aspect of our life has entered a more virtual domain and is no longer confined to a mere physical sphere. This sudden shift to virtual online classes has significantly impacted children and adolescents by decreasing their physical activities and social interactions in schools. This has even led to increased use of social media and mobile phone games by children and adolescents, a grave concern for parents, pediatricians, and epidemiologists. A more detailed assessment and multidisciplinary approach might benefit in dealing with the management of this emerging issue. Gaining enhanced clarity by establishing more guidelines can help physicians as well as parents in the management of this critical issue.

Implications for balance in 11- and 12-year-old children in northern Spain during SARS-CoV-2 lockdown

Oliver Ramos-Álvarez; Víctor Arufe-Giráldez; Alberto Sanmiguel-Rodríguez (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

The home lockdown due to the appearance of SARS-CoV-2 in Spanish society led to changes in certain habits in children and adolescents. These habits were related to the practice of physical activity and the implications of higher rates of sedentary activities. This lockdown lasted from March to June 2020. The aim of this study was to determine the implication that lockdown in Spain due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak had on balance in 11–12 year-old schoolchildren.  In total, 50 Spanish children aged 11–12 years (M = 11.40, SD = 0.50) participated, 33 (66%) boys and 17 (34%) girls. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (Movement ABC-2) and an ad hoc questionnaire for sociodemographic data and other relevant information were used for the three data collections.

Predicting South Korean adolescents vulnerable to obesity after the COVID-19 pandemic using categorical boosting and shapley additive explanation values: a population-based cross-sectional survey

Haewon Byeon

Published: September 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics

This study identified factors related to adolescent obesity during the COVID-19 pandemic by using machine learning techniques and developed a model for predicting high-risk obesity groups among South Korean adolescents based on the result. This study analyzed 50,858 subjects (male: 26,535 subjects, and female: 24,323 subjects) between 12 and 18 years old. Outcome variables were classified into two classes (normal or obesity) based on body mass index (BMI). The explanatory variables included demographic factors, mental health factors, life habit factors, exercise factors, and academic factors. This study developed a model for predicting adolescent obesity by using multiple logistic regressions that corrected all confounding factors to understand the relationship between predictors for South Korean adolescent obesity by inputting the seven variables with the highest Shapley values found in categorical boosting (CatBoost).

Augmented Pokemon go in times of Covid-19: does it have any effect on promoting teenagers' physical activity?

Hasanuddin Jumareng; Edi Setiawan; Zsolt Németh

Published: September 2022   Journal: Physical Education Theory and Methodology

One of the main problems during the COVID-19 pandemic that needs to be considered is the decline in physical activity carried out by teenagers. The overall objective of this mixed method is to investigate the effects of the Pokemon Go intervention program to promote physical activity in teenagers during the COVID-19 crisis. This study was conducted through a mixed method approach. 94 teenagers in grades 10–12 from three high schools agreed to participate in this study. The subjects were divided into 2 groups, namely in the Pokemon Go intervention program group (N=47) and a control group that did not get any physical activity (N=47). The Pokemon Go intervention program was carried out for 7 weeks with an intensity of 3 times a week in physical education classes. After carrying out the Pokemon Go intervention program, the forty-seven subjects were interviewed. The quantitative instrument used to measure the physical activity level was IPAQ, while the qualitative instrument used in-depth interviews.

Determinants of team sport participation decision in the wake of the pandemic among university youth

Sid Terason; Manisha ; Sanitan Tiwari (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Physical Activity and Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sport participation at universities around the world. The decision to participate among sport-minded youth at university is influenced by numerous factors. The study was conducted to investigate a certain salient factors determining decision-making by university youth about participating in team sport. The sample was represented by 324 members of university youth who were selected using a multi-stage sampling method. They voluntarily responded to an electronic survey with no renumerations. Binary logistic regression was chosen as the statistical technique used to evaluate the hypotheses.
The effect of lockdowns and distant learning on the health-related behaviours of school students in the United Arab Emirates

Najla Hussain Sajwani; Ahmed Qawas; Nouf Al Ali (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: BMC Primary Care

The COVID-19 pandemic began to affect the world in early 2020. As a preventive measure, schools in the UAE adopted remote learning. This study aimed to assess the effects of the lockdown and remote learning on the health-related behaviours of school students in the UAE. A cross-sectional study using an online survey comprising 33 questions related to physical activity, eating, sleeping and screen time was answered by the students’ parents. Chi-square tests, paired Student’s t tests and frequency tables were used for analysis.

Changes in daily life, physical activity, GAD, depression, and personal hygiene of adolescents in South Korea due to the COVID-19

Eun-Yeob Kim; Chilhwan Oh; Hwa-Jung Sung (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Healthcare
This study used raw data obtained from the Adolescents’ Health Behavior Survey by government-affiliated agency open data. A total of 109,796 students were sampled. A comparative analysis was performed based on the year 2020 and when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, in which we analyzed changes in adolescents’ depression and panic anxiety perception and dietary habits, physical factors, physical activity, and handwashing habits. There was no weight control in the second year compared to the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and obesity also increased. The continuation of the non-contact situation caused by COVID-19 led to a worsening of subjective health awareness, and the experience of generalized anxiety disorder, depression, sadness and hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts and attempts increased. The frequency of washing hands with soap before meals and after using the toilet at school or at home was reduced.
Analysis of the incidence and risk factors of precocious puberty in girls during the COVID-19 pandemic
Published: September 2022   Journal: International Journal of Endocrinology
Home quarantine due to the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on children. Lifestyle changes have led to an increase in precocious puberty (PP) among girls, and the underlying risk factors for this remain unclear. Thus, this study aimed to assess the influence of environmental, genetic, nutritional, and other lifestyle factors on the risk of PP in girls. It evaluated the incidence of new-onset PP in girls during home quarantine for COVID-19 and analyzed the potential risk factors. This was a retrospective questionnaire and medical record-based study involving 22 representative medical units from 13 cities in Henan Province, China. Girls with new-onset PP (central precocious puberty, 58; premature thelarche, 58; age, 5–9 years) between February 2020 and May 2020 were included, along with 124 healthy, age-matched controls.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood obesity and lifestyle: a report from Italy

Stefano Palermi; Marco Vecchiato; Sonia Pennella (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Pediatric Reports
During the COVID-19 lockdown, especially in the first wave of pandemic (March 2020), sedentary lifestyle and calorie intake increase in children became considerably more prevalent. The aim of the present paper was to evaluate changes in children’s weights and nutritional habits during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. In this cross-sectional observational study, for 3 years, as part of the corporate wellness program (2019–2021) in Emilia Romagna region of Italy, anthropometric data of Ferrari car company employers’ children were collected, analyzed, and compared. Moreover, at the visit of November 2020, performed after the first wave of the pandemic with the most rigorous lockdown rules in Italy, a questionnaire on nutritional and lifestyle habits was administered
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 14 | Issue: 4 | No. of pages: 9 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, obesity, physical activity, social distance | Countries: Italy
Youth physical activity and the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review

Bridgette Do; Chelsey Kirkland; Gina M. Besenyi (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
The purpose of the systematic review was to identify, evaluate, and synthesize evidence from available published literature examining the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on youth physical activity (PA). A systematic review of the literature was conducted for years 2020–2021. Published articles were searched in eight databases. Inclusion criteria included: availability of full-text, written in English language, and reported quantitative or qualitative results of original or secondary data on PA and COVID-19 related factors among youth (ages 5–17 years). A standard quality assessment tool assessed risk of bias and quality of included articles. The search retrieved 2,899 articles with 51 articles ultimately meeting inclusion criteria.
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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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