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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 166
COVID-19 pandemic shifts in food-related parenting practices within an ethnically/racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of families of preschool-aged children

AUTHOR(S)
K. A. Loth; Z. Jib J. Wolfson; J. M. Berge (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Appetite
This study aimed to evaluate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on food parenting practices used by parents of young children. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) was used to evaluate parents’ use of coercive, indulgent, structured, and autonomy supportive food parenting practices before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse racial/ethnic sample (n = 72) of parents of preschool-aged children. The impact of parent and child mood/behavior on use of specific food parenting practices was also evaluated during both time periods.
Impact of COVID 19 on food security, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health in Yemen
Institution: CARE
Published: September 2021

As of 26 August 2021, the number of reported confirmed COVID-19 cases in Yemen had reached 7,625 with 1,438 associated deaths (WHO) reaching a 19% case fatality rate, which is around five times global average. However, in general, the overall number of cases in Yemen is largely under-reported. The main objective of this assessment was to determine the impact of COVID-19 on food security & livelihoods, gender equality/inequality, and sexual and reproductive health access in the assessment area, with a gender and protection lens. The assessment also aimed to understand the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic in terms of gender roles and relations as well as on access to basic services. The assessment also examined the current coping mechanisms utilized by community members to mitigate the impacts of COVID 19. The assessment was conducted in Salh and Al-Waziyah districts, Taiz Governorate. The two districts were selected to compare the impact of COVID-19 across rural (Al-Waziyah) and urban (Salh) populations. The thematic scope of the assessment covered three main domains related to COVID 19: a) Food Security and Livelihoods; b) Gender Equality/Inequality; and c) Sexual and Reproductive Health. Methodology: Given the scope of the assessment, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed for the study. These included: Literature review; 22 Key informant interviews with community leaders, health professionals, government offices and humanitarian actors; 410 household survey (50% men; 50% women); 12 Focus group discussions (50% men; 50% women); and 10 case studies.

COVID-19 and Food-related Outcomes in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Disparities by Income and Food Security Status

AUTHOR(S)
Anita A. Panjwani; Regan L Bailey; Bridgette L Kelleher

Published: September 2021   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

Limited research suggests increased adverse behavioral outcomes, such as distractibility and hyperactivity, among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a result of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19); however, little is known about how the pandemic has impacted food-related behaviors among children with ASD. This study characterizes the impact of the pandemic on access to preferred foods and eating behaviors among children with ASD.

SNAP participation among low-income US households stays stagnant while food insecurity escalates in the months following the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati; Francesco Acciai; Robin S. DeWeese

Published: September 2021   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased food-insecurity rates, particularly among low-income households. Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was expected to rise in response. This study surveyed 931 US residents from households with annual incomes below $50,000 to collect information on food security and food assistance program participation in the year prior to the pandemic and in the first four months of the pandemic, along with household and individual-level demographics. Food insecurity increased from 31% prior to the pandemic to 39% in the first four months of the pandemic, while SNAP participation stagnated. Even more alarmingly, among low-income households that were also food-insecure, 47% participated in SNAP prior to the pandemic but only 39% did so in the first four months following the pandemic’s onset. In particular, Black households, households with children, and those in the lowest income category experienced the largest declines in SNAP participation. Food assistance programs designed to alleviate hunger should facilitate participation among the most vulnerable, especially when these groups are faced with multiple challenges, like during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An online cross-sectional survey of complementary feeding practices during the COVID-19 restrictions in Poland

AUTHOR(S)
Andrea Horvath; Agata Stróżyk; Piotr Dziechciarz (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Nutrients
This cross-sectional online survey performed in Poland aimed to improve understanding of how COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affected complementary feeding practices among parents of infants aged 4 to 12 months. Self-selected parents were recruited through the internet. The anonymous questionnaire was opened during two intervals during COVID-19 restrictions. The primary outcome was an assessment of sources of information and infant feeding practices in the context of COVID-19 restrictions. Data from 6934 responders (92.2% mothers) were analyzed.
Breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
J. P. Dadhich; Nupur Bidla

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Neonatology
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious challenge to the lactating women to practice optimal infant and young child feeding. Although international and national agencies developed appropriate evidence-based guidelines early in the pandemic, availability of this information to the mothers and their caregivers needs to be enhanced. This becomes important in view of apprehension about the risk of a decline in breastfeeding practices during the pandemic due to various factors. Any decrease in the breastfeeding rates may lead to increased childhood morbidity, mortality, and malnutrition. This article provides a glimpse of available evidence-based guidelines on breastfeeding by Covid-19 positive mothers and attempts by the baby food industry to exploit the situation by promoting their products. The article also deals with infection prevention and control measures to be observed by the mother while caring and breastfeeding her baby and other action required to protect breastfeeding from commercial influence.
School feeding amidst a pandemic: preparing for the new normal in Asia and the Pacific
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: August 2021
Prior to COVID-19, close to 129 million children in the Asia and the Pacific region received school meals, primarily through government-led, national school feeding programmes. Due to COVID-19 school closures, many of these children stopped receiving on-site school meals. Although some countries introduced alternative solutions, school-age children are expected to have been negatively affected by this disruption. Against this backdrop, the World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBB) commissioned Oxford Policy Management to undertake a review of adaptations to on-site SF in order to inform policymaking and programming in the context of the new reality. This research sought to answer the key research question through an emphasis on gathering data primarily from six countries in the region where WFP supports SF programmes in different capacities: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on elementary schoolers' physical activity, sleep, screen time and diet: A quasi-experimental interrupted time series study

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Burkart; Hannah Parker; R. Glenn Weaver (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Pediatric Obesity

COVID-19 school closures pose a threat to children's wellbeing, but no COVID-19-related studies have assessed children's behaviours over multiple years . This study aims to examine children's obesogenic behaviours during spring and summer of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous data collected from the same children during the same calendar period in the 2 years prior. Physical activity and sleep data were collected via Fitbit Charge-2 in 231 children (7–12 years) over 6 weeks during spring and summer over 3 years. Parents reported their child's screen time and dietary intake via a survey on 2–3 random days/week.

COVID-19: relationship and impact on breastfeeding : a systematic review

AUTHOR(S)
Marcelino Pérez-Bermejo; Belén Peris-Ochando; María Teresa Murillo-Llorente

Published: August 2021   Journal: Nutrients
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). One major problem faced is whether breastfeeding by mothers infected with the virus is safe. The objective of this work is to study the impact that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can have on breastfeeding, and whether the virus or antibodies can be transmitted from mother to child through milk. We carried out a systematic review of studies focusing on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on breastfeeding by mothers infected with the virus. The bibliographic search was done through Medline (Pubmed), MedlinePlus and Google Scholar. From 292 records, the title and summary of each were examined according to the criteria, and whether they meet the selection criteria was also analysed. A total of 30 articles are included, of which 26 deal with the study of RNA virus in breastmilk and its involvement in breastfeeding and four on the study of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in milk. Most studies have been conducted in China.
Understanding patterns of food insecurity and family well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic using daily surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Steimle; Anna Gassman-Pines; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Development
This paper investigates economic and psychological hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse sample (61% Latinx; 16% White; 9% Black; 14% mixed/other race) of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents (90% mothers; mean age = 35 years) and their elementary school-aged children (ages 4–11; 49% female) in rural Pennsylvania (N = 272). Families participating in a local food assistance program reported on food insecurity (FI) and parent and child mood and behavior daily from January to May 2020. Longitudinal models revealed that FI, negative parent and child mood, and child misbehavior significantly increased when schools closed; only FI and parent depression later decreased. FI decreased most among those who received the local food assistance program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receipt uniquely predicted decreases in child FI.
The exacerbated prevalence of acute malnutrition and growth retardation in Roma children living in camps

AUTHOR(S)
Rosaria Giampaolo; Rosaria Marotta; Francesco Saverio Biagiarelli (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics

Child malnutrition is still a concern in marginalized groups of populations, such as immigrants living in very low socio-economic conditions. Roma children are within the most hard-to-reach populations, susceptible to undernutrition and growth retardation. In the city of Rome (Italy), the Hospital “Bambino Gesù”, in collaboration with the Catholic Association Community of Saint’Egidio, is dedicating free services for the health and nutritional needs of vulnerable people. A retrospective analysis was conducted on immigrant children visited at different ages (0–11 years old). Records including nutritional and growth assessment were collected from 2016 up to May 2020. Malnutrition was classified following the WHO 2006 standards. Data for Roma children living in extra-urban camps and non-Roma immigrant children living in urban areas were analyzed, odds ratios and univariate binary regressions were performed to investigate the risk of malnutrition within the two groups.

Food insecurity among households with children during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a study among social media users across the United States

AUTHOR(S)
Niyati Parekh; Shahmir H. Ali; Joyce O’Connor (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Nutrition Journal volume

In the United States, approximately 11% of households were food insecure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aims to describe the prevalence of food insecurity among adults and households with children living in the United States during the pandemic. This study utilized social media as a recruitment platform to administer an original online survey on demographics and COVID-related food insecurity. The survey was disseminated through an advertisement campaign on Facebook and affiliated platforms. Food insecurity was assessed with a validated six-item United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Household Food Security Survey Module, which was used to create a six-point numerical food security score, where a higher score indicates lower food security. Individual-level participant demographic information was also collected. Logistic regressions (low/very-low compared with high/marginal food security) were performed to generate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95%CIs for food insecurity and select demographic characteristics.

Breastfeeding in the era of COVID-19: a narrative review

AUTHOR(S)
Rozeta Sokou; Aikaterini Konstantinidi; Theodora Boutsikou (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Human milk is the best possible nutrition for infants, as it supplies them with nutrients, bioactive molecules as well as antibodies, which contribute to immune maturation, organ development, and healthy microbial colonisation. Few situations are considered definitive contraindications for breastfeeding. The disastrous Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic raised many health issues, including the safety of breastfeeding for infants born to affected mothers. To date relevant data are limited. This review will make an account of the published data so far, regarding the transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 via human milk; it will also present the current feeding recommendations, issued by several international boards, though not always in agreement, for infants born to mothers suspected or positive for SARS-CoV-2. In most studies existing so far on women with COVID-19, the virus was not detected in breastmilk. Based on currently available data, it seems that breastfeeding and human milk are not contraindicated for infants born to mothers suspected or confirmed with COVID-19.
Maternal attentional control moderates the association between increased depression and controlling feeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole R. Giuliani; Nichole R. Kelly

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Prevention and Health Promotion
Parental distress is associated with less healthful child feeding practices. This preliminary study examined how changes in distress from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with similar changes in feeding practices in a sample of mothers of preschool-aged children. In addition, it examined how pre-pandemic laboratory measures of maternal self-regulation moderated this association. A total of 36 mothers from an ongoing study on parent and child self-regulation completed surveys assessing parental distress (i.e., maternal depression, parenting stress) and child feeding practices during pandemic-related stay-at-home orders in May–June 2020.
Baby friendly hospital initiative breastfeeding outcomes in mothers with COVID-19 infection during the first weeks of the pandemic in Spain

AUTHOR(S)
Miguel A Marín Gabriel; Laura Domingo Goneche; Irene Cuadrado Pérez (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Human Lactation

Adherence to the Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative has been shown to have a protective role for the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. This research aims: (1) To determine the breastfeeding rate during the first 6 months of life in children of mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 infection at the time of birth; and (2) to assess the possible influence of being born in a center with Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative accreditation. This was a two-group comparative longitudinal observational study of infants born to mothers with COVID-19 at the time of birth, between March 13–May 31, 2020 (the first wave of the pandemic) in Spain. Fourteen Spanish hospitals participated, five (35.7%) were Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative accredited. Type of feeding was assessed prospectively at discharge, 1, 3, and 6 months of age. A total of 248 newborns were included in the study.

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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.