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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Adaptive school grounds design in response to COVID-19: Findings from six primary schools in South East England

AUTHOR(S)
Alison Quinn; Alessio Russo

Published: February 2022   Journal: Building and Environment
The purpose of this research is to look at how primary schools in England have adapted their outdoor spaces in the context of COVID-19 rules and guidelines to meet the needs of students returning from school closures and national lockdown of Spring/Summer 2020, how that impacted play and learning value of their grounds, and to consider how these findings might inform future school grounds design. Thus, this study used a mixed-method approach that included qualitative interviews with representatives from six primary schools (three in rural and three in urban areas), quantitative desk research, and in-person site surveys. It used literature-based scoring criteria to quantify changes in the playground before and after the implementation of COVID-19 measures.
Youth athletes sleep more, practice less, and may lose interest in playing sports due to social distancing mandates

AUTHOR(S)
Henry B. Ellis; Sophia M. Ulman; K. John Wagner (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
In-person sport participation was suspended across the United States in the spring of 2020 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The purpose of this study was to survey the impact of COVID-19 on young athletes during a period of social and organized sports restrictions. An anonymous cross-sectional survey study was conducted of youth athletes in the midst of social distancing mandates and consisted of six components: demographics, sport participation, changes in sport-related goals/aspirations, sleep habits, and measures of anxiety and depression. 711 individuals who accessed the survey link yielded 575 (81%) participants with responses available for analysis. All respondents (aged 13.0 years) played organized sports, 62% were single-sport athletes, and 74% considered high-level. Participants were training ∼3.3 h less per week, spending more time outside, and 86% of participants continued to train while social distancing.
COVID-19–related life experiences, outdoor play, and long-term adiposity changes among preschool- and school-aged children in Singapore 1 year after lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Ka Kei Sum; Shirong Cai; Evelyn Law (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: JAMA Pediatrics

Despite the potential for COVID-19 infection control–related events to have an effect on child well-being, comprehensive assessments of postlockdown changes and persistent outcomes are lacking. This paper aims to survey the extent of COVID-19 lockdown–related lifestyle changes, their differences by child age and family socioeconomic status, and the potential association with child adiposity 1 year after lockdown.  A self-administered, electronic survey was introduced to 2 ongoing child cohorts (the Singapore Preconception Study of Long-term Maternal and Child Outcomes [S-PRESTO] cohort of preschool children aged 1-4.5 years and the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes [GUSTO] cohort of primary school children aged 9-10.7 years) from July 8, 2020, to September 5, 2020, which was 1 to 3 months after the end of strict universal movement restrictions (duration of 73 days ending on June 19, 2020). All active participants from S-PRESTO and GUSTO, 2 population-based, longitudinal, parent-offspring cohorts in Singapore, were invited to participate and monitored through June 15, 2021.

Childhood confined by COVID-19 in Italy and the impacts on the right to education

AUTHOR(S)
Fernando Donizete Alves; Aline Sommerhalder; Concetta La Rocca (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: International Journal of Early Years Education
This article aimed to assess the impact of school closures in Italy on children's lives, particularly in Early Childhood Education, as a result of the Covid-19 containment measures. A set of documents published by the Italian government related to the measures to contain the covid-19 were analyzed. Based on content analysis, three categories of analysis were defined: 1) containment measures and social life; 2) school closures and distance education; 3) the return of face-to-face activities in early childhood education. The results indicated that the containment measures imposed severe restrictions on children's social interaction, such as the closing of public and private spaces (parks, museums, etc.) and the impossibility of moments of interaction and collective play. They impacted the right to education by closing schools when distance education was implemented as a measure to reduce potential damage to children's learning and overall development. For the resumption of in-person activities in schools, there should be priority use of open spaces, social distancing, and measures of personal and collective hygiene. Another significant result is the consideration of daycare centers and pre-school as essential services by the Italian government.
Children’s indoor and outdoor play as potential correlates of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran: a brief report on national survey

AUTHOR(S)
Mohse Rajabi; G. Ali Afrooz; Gulfisha Qureshi (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Play
Over the past 16 months, Iranian children have had their schools closed. Prolonged COVID-19-related restrictions and limited play activities can have significant mental health consequences in children. Using a cross-sectional design, a sample of Iranian parents (n = 1182) of children aged between 5 and 11 years completed an online survey including: Children's Play Scale (CPS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule Short Form (I-PANAS-SF), and the Strength and Difficulties Questionaries (SDQ). Parents reported that their child spent significantly longer time playing outside at home and inside at home than anywhere else. Children were also reported to spend the minimum number of hours at indoor play centres, near water, green spaces, and playgrounds. Compared to the pre-COVID-19 context, significant declines in outdoor play activities during the pandemic were reported for 83% of children.
‘It was peers and playgrounds that were missing, not play’: young children in Northern Indian homes during the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nandita Chaudhary; Shraddha Kapoor; Punya Pillai

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Play
Play during early years gives rhythm to children’s lives, and although we make many investments in children’s play in our modern world, it is also true that children play under all conditions, even the most difficult ones. In recent times, social encounters and physical mobility have become impacted, and fear and uncertainty have become constant companions. This article explored children’s play during the pandemic through a series of interviews with adults and children in Northern Indian families, to understand the ways in which their activities had changed. It found that socio-economic context played a key role in defining how and how much children’s play had been impacted and reported. Whereas the vocal middle-class, educated parent recounted many adjustments and anxieties, semi-urban, rural, and urban poor families mostly believed that their children played as usual, slipping out onto the street to play with other children by avoiding scrutiny.
Incidence of COVID-19 in children and young people who play federated football

AUTHOR(S)
Rocío Seijo Bestilleiro; Jorge Suanzes Hernández; Diego Batalla Bautista (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Sports Health

This study aims to determine the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection in children and young people who play federated football. Prospective study, from October 2020 to January 2021, in players aged 4 to 19 years from federated football clubs in Galicia, Spain (N = 23,845). Outbreaks and cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were recorded. The cumulative incidence was compared with the incidence registered in Galicia in the same age range.

Competitive sport after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children

AUTHOR(S)
Giulia Cafiero; Flaminia Passi; Francesca Ippolita Calo (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics
With the gradual resumption of sports activities after the lock-down period for coronavirus pandemic, a new problem is emerging: Allow all athletes to be able to return to compete after SARS-CoV-2 infection in total safety. Several protocols have been proposed for healed athletes but all of them have been formulated for the adult population. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the adequacy of Italian practical recommendations for return-to-paly, in order to exclude cardiorespiratory complications due to COVID-19 in children and adolescents. Between April 2020 and January 2021 the Italian Sports Medical Federation formulated cardiorespiratory protocols to be applied to athletes recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The protocols take into account the severity of the infection. Protocols include lung function tests, cardiopulmonary exercise test, echocardiographic evaluation, blood chemistry tests.
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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.