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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 189
The impact of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria: a longitudinal study with data from 708 children measured before and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Gerald Jarnig; Reinhold Kerbl; Mireille N. M. van Poppel

Published: March 2022   Journal: Sports
The COVID-19-related closing of schools and sport facilities resulted in major changes to daily routines worldwide. It was the aim of this study to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria. Seven hundred and eight primary school children (7–10 years old) participated in the longitudinal study. Data on height, weight, waist circumference, and fitness were collected before (September 2019) and during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (June 20, September 20, March 21, June 21).
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children's sugary drink consumption: a qualitative study

Allison C. Sylvetsky; Jasmine H. Kaidbey; Kace Ferguson (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Nutrition
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused striking alterations to daily life, with important impacts on children's health. Spending more time at home and out of school due to COVID-19 related closures may exacerbate obesogenic behaviors among children, including consumption of sugary drinks (SDs). This qualitative study aimed to investigate effects of the pandemic on children's SD consumption and related dietary behaviors. Children 8–14 years old and their parent (n = 19 dyads) participated in an in-depth qualitative interview. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and independently coded by two coders, after which, emergent themes and subthemes were identified and representative quotations selected.
Physical education on the beach: an alternative way to improve primary school children’s skill- and health-related outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Maria Chiara Gallotta; Giovanna Zimatore; Ludovica Cardinali (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 restrictions could preclude children from participating in physical education (PE) interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a PE intervention conducted on the beach on children’s skill- and health-related outcomes, as a possible alternative PE intervention that could be also applied during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study involved 106 primary school children, randomly assigned to the traditional indoor (TI) intervention or to the experimental outdoor (EO) intervention. The intervention period lasted 4 months and consisted of two 1-h sessions per week. Intervention was conducted just before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 and screen-based sedentary behaviour: systematic review of digital screen time and metabolic syndrome in adolescents

Sarah Musa; Rowaida Elyamani; Ismail Dergaa

Published: March 2022   Journal: Plos One

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted governments around the globe to implement various restriction policies, including lockdown, social distancing, and school closures. Subsequently, there has been a surge in sedentary behaviour particularly screen time (ST) together with a significant decline in physical activity that was more marked amongst children and adolescents. Excessive screen exposure in adolescents has been correlated with cardio-metabolic risk factors including obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, and glucose intolerance that may have adverse morbidity and mortality implications in adulthood. Thus, the current study aimed to synthesize the literature on the relationship between ST of various types and the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adolescents in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2021, a systematic search of the literature was undertaken using electronic databases: PubMed, PsycINFO, and the Cochran library.

Sedentary time and fast-food Consumption Associated With Weight Gain During COVID-19 lockdown in children and adolescents with overweight or obesity

Sarah Woo; Heonil Yang; YoonMyung Kim (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Korean Medical Science

The coronavirus disease pandemic is predicted to have adverse health effects on children and adolescents who are overweight or obese due to restricted school activity and stay-at-home orders. The purpose of this observational study was to determine the factors associated with weight gain in children and adolescents with overweight and obesity during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. Ninety-seven participants (sex- and age-specific body mass index (BMI) ≥ 85th percentile) were included. A baseline examination was conducted pre-COVID-19 (August 2019 to January 2020), and re-examination was performed post-lockdown (June to September 2020) and the results were compared. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted to investigate the association among changes in cardiometabolic markers and lifestyle behaviors with changes in BMI z-score.

Need for resuming sports and physical activity for children and adolescents following COVID-19 infection

Giuseppe Calcaterra; Vassilios Fanos; Luigi Cataldi (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Sport Sciences for Health

A decline in sports activities among children and adolescents was noted during the stay-at-home restrictions imposed by COVID-19. With the easing of restrictions, physical activities are being resumed. A data search was conducted to identify the role of parents in resuming sporting activities, the risks and benefits of doing so, the physical examination to be conducted prior to physical activity, the existence of guidelines/protocols for return to sports and physical activity, the role of comorbidities in influencing the restart of the same.

Balance performance analysis after the COVID-19 quarantine in children aged between 8 and 12 years old: longitudinal study

Vicenta Martínez-Córcoles; Pilar Nieto-Gilb; Laura Ramos-Petersen (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Gait & Posture

Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused great changes in daily activities, especially in children. In Spain, to avoid infections, a home quarantine was declared, which caused a drastic reduction in daily or weekly physical activity in children. This study aimed to analyse the balance performance after the COVID-19-induced quarantine on children’s balance, through the use of balance tests, considering the type of sport practiced. An observational and longitudinal study was carried out with a sample size of 150 healthy children (69 boys and 81 girls) with a mean age of 10.02 ± 1.15 years. Postural control was evaluated under different equilibrium conditions before and after the quarantine period. Two data collections using the Gyko system were compared, with a difference of 8 months between them. In addition, the influence of foot type and physical activity was analysed.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 94 | No. of pages: 203-209 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19 response, lockdown, physical activity, social distance | Countries: Spain
Physical education in a post-COVID world: a blended-gamified approach

Dylan Owen Blain; Martyn Standage; Thomas Curran

Published: February 2022   Journal: European Physical Education Review
How does the education sector recover following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic? Much enthusiasm exists to imagine how teaching practices can be enriched within the so-called ‘new normal.’ The physical and mental health benefits associated with school physical education have attracted considerable attention during the pandemic. Capitalizing on the raised awareness of the many positive contributions of school physical education, a pressing priority is to now reengage children with physical activity in a manner that promotes enjoyable experiences and adaptive engagement with movement. This paper draws from self-determination theory, physical literacy theory and socioecological perspectives to present the case for blended-gamified approaches as a means of reimagining physical education in a post-pandemic world. To support all young people to lead healthy and active lifestyles, it proposes the use of a systematic and evidence-based approach to programme development, evaluation and implementation. Such an approach will aid in establishing what works, when, for whom and in which context.
Increased gaming during COVID-19 predicts physical inactivity among youth in Norway: a two-wave longitudinal cohort study

Ellen Haug; Silje Mæland; Stine Lehmann (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

This paper aimed to examine the stability and change in internet and offline gaming and the association with physical inactivity among adolescents in Norway during the pandemic. A total of 2940 youth (58% girls) aged 12–19 years participated in an online longitudinal two-wave survey during the first Norwegian national lockdown in April 2020 (t1) and in December 2020 (t2). Gaming behavior and physical activity status were assessed at both time points. Age, gender, and socioeconomic status were included as covariates.

Changes in body mass index in children and adolescents in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic

Shlomit Shalitin; Moshe Phillip; Michal Yackobovitch-Gavan (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Journal of Obesity

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has health, social, and economic implications. This study primary objective was to evaluate changes in body mass index (BMI) from the pre-pandemic to COVID-19 pandemic period among a large pediatric population in Israel. This retrospective cohort study is based on data from Clalit Health Services, the largest health maintenance organization in Israel. The data accessed included sociodemographic, anthropometric, and clinical parameters of persons aged 2–20 years with at least one BMI measurement during 2017–2019 (pre-pandemic period) and one between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 (pandemic period).

Parent-adolescent agreement in reported moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jason M. Nagata; Catherine A. Cortez; Puja Iyer (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

This study aimed to describe the agreement between parent- and adolescent- reports of adolescent moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and to determine sociodemographic factors associated with MVPA reporting differences during the COVID-19 pandemic. It analyzed data collected in May 2020 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD, N = 4841), a U.S. prospective cohort study. It quantified past weekly adolescent MVPA levels as reported by the parent and adolescent (referent). Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots were used to examine the degree of agreement between parent- and adolescent- reports.

The effect of an after-school physical activity program on children’s cognitive, social, and emotional health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nova Scotia

Hilary A. T. Caldwell; Matthew B. Miller; Constance Tweedie (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
Children’s physical activity participation declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, and these negative changes could lead to longer-term impacts on children’s cognitive, social, and emotional health. Purpose: To determine parent/caregivers’ perceptions of their children’s cognitive function, peer and family relationships, life satisfaction, physical activity, sleep, positive affect, and global health, before and after participating in the Build Our Kids’ Success (BOKS) programming at after-school programs in Fall 2020. Parents of children participating in the BOKS programming at after-school programs in Nova Scotia, Canada, were recruited. At baseline, 159 parents completed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures Information System (PROMIS) parent-proxy questionnaire, and 75 parents completed the measures at follow-up. Independent t-tests were used to determine if there were differences between baseline and follow-up Parent Proxy Questionnaire data.
Dietary patterns of adolescent students during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown

Alexandra Martín-Rodríguez; José Francisco Tornero-Aguilera; P. Javier López-Pérez (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Physiology & Behavior
This study aimed to analyze the dietary patterns of adolescent students during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. To achieve the research´s aim 127 adolescent students, 60 men (18.88±4.18 years) and 67 women (17.61±7.43 years) completed an online questionnaire that analyzed variables regarding their nutritional profile. Adolescent students presented a dietary pattern during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown characterized by different associations of food consumption, On one hand, the consumption of healthier foods such as meat, fish, vegetables, legumes, rice, or pasta, and on the other hand non-healthier foods as food, alcohol, or pastries.
COVID-19: physical activity and quality of life in a sample of Swiss school children during and after the first stay-at-home

Valentin Benzing; Patrice Gaillard; David Scheidegger (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
COVID-19 restrictions and the instructions to stay at home (SaH) may have had an impact on child behavior including physical activity (PA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Switzerland. Therefore, we investigated PA and HRQoL during and after the SaH in 57 Swiss school children aged 7 to 12 years (M = 10.44; SD = 1.34). PA was measured using accelerometry (Actigraph GT3X) and HRQoL using the Kid-KINDLR questionnaire. During and post data was compared using paired sample t-tests. Independent t-tests were used to compare the HRQoL of physically active children with non-physically active children. PA in light (d = −0.56), moderate (d = −0.44), moderate-to-vigorous (d = −0.28) as well as overall HRQoL (d = −0.66), psychological well-being (d = −0.48), self-esteem (d = −0.39), friends (d = −0.70) and everyday functioning (d = −0.44), were significantly lower during SaH than afterwards.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle behaviors in children and adolescents: an international overview

S. Scapaticci; C. R. Neri; G. L. Marseglia (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics

The adverse effects of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are not limited to the related infectious disease. In children and adolescents, serious risks due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are also related to its indirect effects. These include an unbalanced diet with an increased risk of weight excess or nutritional deficiencies, increased sedentary lifestyle, lack of schooling, social isolation, and impaired mental health.  Pediatricians should be aware of the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s diet, physical mental health and advise the families according to their nutritional needs and financial resources. Moreover, the lack of a targeted therapy able to offer protection against the deleterious effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection should require a greater effort by scientific societies to find a more effective prevention strategy. In this context, much interest should be given to nutritional support, able to contrast malnutrition and to stimulate the immune system.

16 - 30 of 189

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.