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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Implementation of SARS-CoV2 screening in K–12 schools using in-school pooled molecular testing and deconvolution by rapid antigen test

Nira R. Pollock; David Berlin; Sandra C. Smole (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Clinical Microbiology logo
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) testing is one component of a multilayered mitigation strategy to enable safe in-person school attendance for the K–12 school population. However, costs, logistics, and uncertainty about effectiveness are potential barriers to implementation. We assessed early data from the Massachusetts K–12 public school pooled SARS-CoV2 testing program, which incorporates two novel design elements: in-school “pod pooling” for assembling pools of dry anterior nasal swabs from 5 to 10 individuals and positive pool deconvolution using the BinaxNOW antigen rapid diagnostic test (Ag RDT), to assess the operational and analytical feasibility of this approach. Over 3 months, 187,597 individual swabs were tested across 39,297 pools from 738 schools.
Parent-for-child mask behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and the United States: an investigation of attitudes, norms, and perceived control using the theory of planned behavior

Adina Coroiu; Chelsea Moran; Brittany L. Lindsay (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
Face masks continue to be a necessity until a large proportion of the population, including children, receive immunizations for COVID-19. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between parental attitudes and beliefs about masks and parent-for-child mask behavior using the Theory of Planned Behavior. A survey was administered in August 2020 to parents of school-aged children residing in the United States and Canada. Measures included sociodemographic variables for the parent and child, attitudes, norms, perceived control over children’s mask use, intentions and enforcement of mask wearing among children (also titled “parent-for-child mask behavior”).
Current and future implications of COVID-19 among youth wheelchair users: 24-hour activity behavior

Ryan T. Conners; Lauren C. Bates; Patricia Pagan Lassalle (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Children
Preventative measures taken worldwide to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 have had a tremendous impact on youth. Following social restrictions, youth with and without physical disabilities are engaging in less physical activity, more increased sedentary behavior, and poor sleep habits. Specifically, youth wheelchair users (YWU) are likely disproportionately affected by COVID- 19 and have a higher risk of contraction due to underlying comorbidities. While all of the negative long-term implications of COVID-19 for YWU cannot be controlled, participation in positive 24-h activity behaviors can decrease chronic disease risk and the likelihood of long-term complications resulting from infection. This commentary is to extend the discourse on the importance of 24-h activity behaviors by focusing on YWU. Specifically, it discuss the importance of chronic disease prevention, provide a brief overview of 24-h activity behaviors, and outline some of the lessons that can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do school closures and school reopenings affect community transmission of COVID-19? A systematic review of observational studies

Sebastian Walsh; Avirup Chowdhury; Vickie Braithwaite (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: BMJ Open

This study aims to systematically reivew the observational evidence of the effect of school closures and school reopenings on SARS-CoV-2 community transmission.  On 7 January 2021, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, the WHO Global COVID-19 Research Database, ERIC, the British Education Index, the Australian Education Index and Google, were searched for titles and abstracts related to SARS-CoV-2 AND related to schools or non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The Cochrane Risk of Bias In Non-randomised Studies of Interventions tool was used to evaluate bias.

Religiosity, meaning-making and the fear of COVID-19 affecting well-being among late adolescents in Poland: a moderated mediation model

Dariusz Krok; Beata Zarzycka; Ewa Telka

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Religion and Health
Adolescents have come to be greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing containment measures in recent months. The aim of the present study was to examine the relations among religiosity, meaning-making, fear of COVID-19, and subjective well-being within a moderated mediation model. Three hundred and sixteen late adolescents (173 women and 143 men) in Poland volunteered to take part in the study. The results show that meaning-making mediated relationships between religiosity and life satisfaction, religiosity and positive affect, and religiosity and negative affect. In addition, these mediation effects were moderated by the fear of COVID-19. Specifically, the indirect effects were stronger for adolescents with high fear than for those with low fear, which indicates that fear of COVID-19 serves as a ‘warning’ factor.
Disinfectant use by K-12 school staff to combat SARS-CoV-2

Timothy J. Hilbert; Candace Brancato; Kelsey Carter (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: American Journal of Infection Control
K-12 school staff from Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio were asked about their use of disinfectants to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Survey participants (n=1,555) reported frequent use of disinfectants, often using unknown products, and were provided little to no training on safe and effective use. Participant concerns included student involvement in disinfection, inadequate ventilation, surface contact time, and potential health effects.
COVID-19 in pregnancy: what we know from the first year of the pandemic

Anya Lara Arthurs; Tanja Jankovic-Karasoulos; Claire Trelford Roberts

Published: August 2021   Journal: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected nearly 178 million people and claimed the lives of over 3.8 million in less than 15months. This has prompted a flurry of research studies into the mechanisms and effects of SARS-CoV-2 viral infection in humans. However, studies examining the effects of COVID-19 in pregnant women, their placentae and their babies remain limited. Furthermore, reports of safety and efficacy of vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy are limited. This review concisely summarises the case studies and research on COVID-19 in pregnancy, to date. It also reviews the mechanism of infection with SARS-CoV-2, and its reliance and effects upon the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

Factors affecting parent health-promotion behavior in early childhood according to family cohesion: Focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic

Song I. Parka; In Young Chob

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Nursing

This study investigated and compared the factors influencing parents' promotion of healthy behavior in young children according to their family cohesion level during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea. This was a cross-sectional study involving 432 parents of young children (ages 1–6) in six South Korean cities (320 and 112 from the high and low family cohesion groups, respectively). We collected data using self-report questionnaires on parents' health promotion behavior, stress, risk perception due to COVID-19, positive psychological capital, and family cohesion, and analyzed it using stepwise multiple regressions with the SPSS program.

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the household setting: a prospective cohort study in children and adults in England

Elizabeth Miller; Pauline A. Waight; Nick J. Andrews (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Infection

This study aims to measure secondary attack rates (SARs) in prospectively followed household contacts of paediatric and adult cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in England. Self-taken nasal swabs from household contacts of PCR confirmed cases of COVID-19 and blood samples on day 35 were tested for evidence of infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Implementation of a pooled surveillance testing program for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in K-12 schools and universities

Rachelle P. Mendoza; Chongfeng Bi; Hui-Ting Cheng (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine
The negative impact of continued school closures during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic warrants the establishment of cost-effective strategies for surveillance and screening to safely reopen and monitor for potential in-school transmission. This paper presents a novel approach to increase the availability of repetitive and routine COVID-19 testing that may ultimately reduce the overall viral burden in the community. This study implemented a testing program using the SalivaClear࣪ pooled surveillance method that included students, faculty and staff from K-12 schools (student age range 5–18 years) and universities (student age range >18 years) across the country (Mirimus Clinical Labs, Brooklyn, NY). The data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics, kappa agreement, and outlier detection analysis.
Public health preventive measures and child health behaviours during COVID-19: a cohort study

Xuedi Li; Leigh M. Vanderloo; Jonathon L. Maguire (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Canadian Journal of Public Health

The primary objective was to determine the association between public health preventive measures and children’s outdoor time, sleep duration, and screen time during COVID-19. A cohort study using repeated measures of exposures and outcomes was conducted in healthy children (0 to 10 years) through The Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!) COVID-19 Study of Children and Families in Toronto, Canada, between April 14 and July 15, 2020. Parents were asked to complete questionnaires about adherence to public health measures and children’s health behaviours.

Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 testing in children during a low prevalence period (VIGIL study 1)

Eleonore Eskander; Camille Jung; Corinne Levy (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Infectious Diseases Now

SARS-CoV-2 induces a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, which overlap with other viral infections very common in children. This study aimed to describe the percentage of positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests in symptomatic and asymptomatic ambulatory children and to determine the predictive factors for positivity. From June 1 to July 31, 2020,  a cross-sectional prospective, multicenter study (13 hospital emergency units and 59 ambulatory pediatricians) was conducted throughout France. Children under 15 years of age with a prescription of nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test were enrolled.

Presentation of a participatory approach to develop preventive measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in child care

Mathias Diebig; Susan Gritzka; Nico Dragano (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology volume
It can be suspected that work in child care facilities is associated with an elevated exposure risk towards SARS-CoV-2 infections. It is still unclear under which conditions employees in those facilities can safely pursue their work. Preventive workplace-related measures to reduce transmission dynamics in this work environment need to be developed. These measures need to build on a solid scientific foundation and be ready for practical use at the same time. Therefore, the aim of the study is to present a participatory approach to identify, minimize, and eliminate workplace-specific COVID-19 transmission within child care. The approach presented combines quantitative as well as qualitative elements and includes a screening of critical workplace conditions and the development of preventive measures to foster a safe workplace design.
The Covid-19 pandemic teaching modalities in Turkey: an evaluation of school gardens and classes

Murat Başeğmez; Cevdet Coşkun Aydın

Published: July 2021   Journal: Health Policy and Technology

The main scientific contribution of this study is to design an approach that can regulate school safety and student health in gardens and classes during the pandemic period using GIS. The method of this study is based on the use of school areas and building data, the creation of 4m2 social distance areas for students, and the evaluation of these areas in terms of health measures. To this aim, first, the relevant guidelines issued by the government institutions in Turkey during the COVID-19 process were examined, in relation to how they will reflect on education policies regarding the sanitary safety of schools. This data was obtained from open-source data sets. Then, in the application stage, 20 schools were selected in order to analyse the sustainability of education in the Balgat district. In addition, the sanitary conditions of classrooms and garden areas were evaluated within the framework of educational policies, taking into account the capabilities of geographical information systems (GIS).

Factors associated with preventive behaviors for COVID-19 among adolescents in South Korea

Sunhee Park; Sumi Oh

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Nursing
COVID-19's infection rate among adolescents is increasing; hence, it is important to prevent it as it can spread in the community through transmission in schools. It is crucial to determine the extent to which adolescents follow COVID-19 preventive measures and identify factors relating to such behaviors to implement more effective health education. This study aimed to understand factors related to COVID-19 preventive behaviors using the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the health belief model (HBM) among adolescents in South Korea.
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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.