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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Public health, polio, and pandemics: fear and anxiety about health in children’s literature

AUTHOR(S)
Kristine Moruzi; Shih‑Wen Sue Chen; Paul Venzo

Published: March 2021   Journal: Children's Literature in Education
This article begins by discussing approximately thirty picture books dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic published digitally in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other English-speaking countries in the first six months of 2020. The worldwide impact of COVID-19 resulted in the rapid global digital publication of numerous English-language children’s picture books aimed at informing child readers about public health concerns and how children could contribute to improving health outcomes. This exploration of contemporary picture books is intertwined with examinations of two other public health crises that appeared in literature for children: the discussion of British children’s health in the Junior Red Cross Magazine in the 1920s and the American polio outbreak discussed in educational materials and fiction in the 1940s and 1950s. These comparisons not only enable us to situate the COVID-19 pandemic within a history of transnational responses to concerns about children’s health but also to expand our understanding of how children are positioned to take individual responsibility for community public health issues. This wide range of Anglophone texts published in the United Kingdom, the United States, and around the world demonstrates the extent to which adults attempt to guide children towards specific behaviours to promote individual health. They also reflect a common understanding of childhood in which children have an obligation to contribute to societal wellbeing through their individual actions.
Scoping exercise to develop a storybook to support children’s education during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Rowshonara Syeda; Magdalena Hann; Rosalie Allison

Published: March 2021   Journal: BMJ Paediatrics Open
In June 2020, as COVID-19 lockdown measures were eased in the UK, this scoping exercise aimed to rapidly identify topics to cover within a children’s online storybook ‘My Back to School Bubble’, designed to support the return to school.
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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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Read the latest quarterly digest on violence against children and women during COVID-19.

The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.