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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Unravelling the role of the mandatory use of face covering masks for the control of SARS-CoV-2 in schools: a quasi-experimental study nested in a population-based cohort in Catalonia (Spain)

Ermengol Coma; Martí Català; Leonardo Méndez-Boo (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of mandatory use of face covering masks (FCMs) in schools during the first term of the 2021–2022 academic year. It is a retrospective population-based study conducted in the schools of Catalonia (Spain).

Screen time and its correlates among children aged 3–10 years during COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal: a community-based cross-sectional study

Rajan Shrestha; Bijay Khatri; Sangita Majhi (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMJ Open Ophthalmology

This study aims to determine the prevalence of high screen time among schoolchildren aged 3–10 years in Bhaktapur, its correlates and the parents’ strategies to reduce screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted during March 2021. A total of 630 households were selected for the study from 21 randomly selected clusters in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Correlates of high screen time were determined using a logistic model. P<0.002 was taken as significant.

Knowledge, attitude, prevention practice, and associated factors toward COVID-19 among preparatory school students in Southwest Ethiopia, 2021

Mohammed Yesuf; Mehd Abdu

Published: January 2022   Journal: Plos One

As of February 2021 COVID-19 report in 57 African countries, there were 3,761,512 confirmed cases and 98,088 deaths. Ethiopia reported the highest number of cases in East Africa with a total of 147,092 cases and 2,194 deaths. Over 1.5 billion students from 195 countries across the world separated from school as a consequence of the closure of schools related to the pandemic. This study aimed to determine the level of knowledge, attitude, prevention practices, and determinant factors regarding COVID-19 among preparatory school students in southwest Ethiopia. An institution-based cross-sectional study design was used for 422 samples. Each respondent was selected using simple random sampling. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The collected data were entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for social science software version 25.0. Multivariable binary logistic regression was used to identify factors that were significantly associated with the practice of COVID-19 prevention.

COVID-19 and resilience in schools: implications for practice and policy

Suniya S. Luthar; Lisa S. Pao; Nina L. Kumar

Published: December 2021   Journal: Social Policy Report
This is a mixed-methods study of risk and resilience in a sample of over 14,000 students from 49 schools, assessed during the first 3 months of COVID-19 in the United States. Over a third of students were of color and almost a third received financial aid. Participation rates were typically 90–99%. Overall, rates of clinically significant depression and anxiety were lower during distance learning in 2020 as compared to parallel rates documented during 2019, with a few exceptions. Hispanic students did not show reductions in depression rates, nor did gender non-binary youth. Analyses of multiple risk and protective factors showed that in relation to depression, the most potent predictor was parent support, with effect sizes at least twice as high as those for any other predictor.
Model-based assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant transmission dynamics within partially vaccinated K-12 school populations

Jennifer R. Head; Kristin L. Andrejko; Justin V. Remais

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas

This study examined school reopening policies amidst ongoing transmission of the highly transmissible Delta variant, accounting for vaccination among individuals ≥12 years. It collected data on social contacts among school-aged children in the California Bay Area and developed an individual-based transmission model to simulate transmission of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 in schools. It evaluated the additional infections in students and teachers/staff resulting over a 128-day semester from in-school instruction compared to remote instruction when various NPIs (mask use, cohorts, and weekly testing of students/teachers) were implemented, across various community-wide vaccination coverages (50%, 60%, 70%), and student (≥12 years) and teacher/staff vaccination coverages (50% - 95%).

School asthma care during COVID-19: what we have learned, and what we are learning

Elissa M. Abrams; Kamyron Jordan; Stanley J. Szefler

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
The focus of this article is to review school asthma care during COVID-19. Asthma is listed as a risk factor in some guidelines, although children with asthma appear to not be at increased risk of severe respiratory outcomes compared to children without asthma during the pandemic. Differentiating COVID-19 from allergic disease is very difficult to do in the school-aged children. For school management, there is firm evidence that masks do not exacerbate underlying lung conditions including asthma and evidence to date supports that children with asthma can learn in-person at school as they do not appear to be at increased risk of COVID-19 morbidity or mortality. For children and adolescents, the COVID-19 vaccine has been demonstrated to be safe and well tolerated. School asthma management includes remaining on prescribed asthma medications. Asthma management, as with management of all pediatric conditions, must also factor in the impact of adverse social determinants and health disparities. Broadly, the pandemic has also served as a call to resource stewardship and innovation and allowed practitioners to consider how this may impact asthma care moving forward.
Longitudinal association between smartphone ownership and depression among schoolchildren under COVID-19 pandemic

Masaki Adachi; Michio Takahashi; Hiroki Shinkawa (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Under the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns regarding prolonged screen time and mental health effects in children have increased. This study examined the association of depression with smartphone ownership in school children at four time points: September 2019, July 2020, December 2020, and March 2021. The analysis revealed an interaction between group and time, indicating that depressive symptoms among smartphone owners were significantly more severe than in the other group. These results were clearer for fourth-year students, pointing that smartphone possession at younger ages may be a risk factor for mental health in the new lifestyle caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clustering and longitudinal change in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in school children in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland: prospective cohort study of 55 schools

Agne Ulyte; Thomas Radtke; Irene A. Abela

Published: March 2021   Journal: BMJ
This prospective cohort study aims to examine longitudinal changes in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence and to determine the clustering of children who were seropositive within school classes in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland from June to November 2020.
Socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in four African countries

Anna Josephson; Talip Kilic; Jeffrey D. Michler

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2020
This paper provides some of the first evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of and responses to the pandemic among households in Sub-Saharan Africa. Econometric methods are applied to longitudinal household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda. Results show that 256 million individuals are estimated to live in households that have lost income due to the pandemic. Attempts to cope with this loss are exacerbated by the inability to access medicine and staple foods among 20 to 25 percent of the households in each country, and food insecurity is disproportionately borne by households that were already impoverished prior to the pandemic. Finally, student-teacher contact has dropped from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 96 percent to just 17 percent among households with school-age children. These findings can help inform decisions by governments and international organizations on measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal the need for continued monitoring.
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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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Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.