Indian Journal of Psychiatric Nursing

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57--58

Parental role in the protection of mental health of children during COVID-19 lockdown


M Vijayarani 
 Assistant Professor, ESIC College of Nursing, Indiranagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M Vijayarani
Assistant Professor, ESIC College of Nursing, Indiranagar, Bangalore, Karnataka
India




How to cite this article:
Vijayarani M. Parental role in the protection of mental health of children during COVID-19 lockdown.Indian J Psy Nsg 2020;17:57-58


How to cite this URL:
Vijayarani M. Parental role in the protection of mental health of children during COVID-19 lockdown. Indian J Psy Nsg [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Dec 1 ];17:57-58
Available from: https://www.ijpn.in/text.asp?2020/17/1/57/291613


Full Text



Dear Editor,

We are aware that a Public Health Emergency of International Concern was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) followed by the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, COVID-19 in in January 2020.[1],[2] COVID-19 has and did affected people from many countries in many geographical locations.[1] The Government of India has imposed the lockdown measures to save lives and suppress the transmission of the virus.[3] It is estimated that 60 percent of all children worldwide live in countries where there is full or partial lockdown.[3] The length of the lockdown today remains uncertain, and the probability of reintroduction of lockdowns in response to potential COVID-19 outbreaks is also possible.[3] Children are the most vulnerable of the populations.[4] The protection of children is particularly important.[5],[6] COVID-19 outbreak and its effects can cause anxiety and stress to children.[7],[8] They have changed their everyday routine, they are home schooled, they've reduced interaction with family and friends.[6],[9] Children staying at home due to the lockdown have been found to spend more time in front of TV and Internet which can lead to psycho-social problems such as lower self-esteem.[10] The lockdown also poses a greater challenge for the little ones to be exposed to the tension of being confined home.[6] Children may react to stress in various ways.[5] Children can experience a number of psychological problems such as anxiety, difficulties sleeping, fear, angry, bedwetting, worry, depression, having pain in the stomach or head, withdrawn, loss of appetite, clingy or afraid to be left alone.[5],[6],[11] In many children, quarantine and isolation can also cause acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and grief.[6] Some of the effective ways for the parents to support children's emotional health during lockdown are as follows:

Provide valid and unambiguous details about the pandemic[6]Encourage to look at reliable websites for information (such as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the WHO or Centers for the Disease Control)[6]Answer your children's queries[6]Support kids find constructive ways to express their feelings of fear and sadness[1]Reassure the child whenever necessary[7]Make the children stay close to their parents and family[1]Maintain familiar daily routines[1],[11]Help the kids to have touch with friends and loved ones over the phone[7]Help them manage their anxiety[7]Offer children opportunities to play and relax[5]Reconnect with the family playing such as board games, cards, carrom, and ludo.[6]Understand that children seek more comfort in stressful circumstances and are more demanding on parents[1]Engage children in indoor activities[7]Helping children deal with stressful events by listening, comforting, and reassuring[11]Model calmness[6]Call NIMHANS toll free number 08046110007 for specialized help.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1World Health Organization. Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak. World Health Organization; 2020. p. 1-6.
2Holmes EA, O'Connor RC, Perry VH, Tracey I, Wessely S, Arseneault L,et al. Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science. Lancet Psychiatry 2020;7:547-60.
3Nations U. Policy Brief: The Impact of on Children. Geneva, Switzerland; 2020. Available from: https://unsdg.un.org/resources/policy-brief-impact-covid-19-children. [Last accessed on 2020 May 27].
4Covid 19-19 Book of Five Responses and Containmnet Meausres for ANM, ASHA A. Book of Five. Newdelhi; 2020. Available from: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/3Pocketbookof5_Covid19_27March.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 May 25].
5Bender L. Key Messages and Actions for Prevention and Control in Schools. Unicef; 2020.
6Jacob P, Rajendra KM, Ghosh S, Sagar KJ. COVID-19 pandemic and mental health issues in children and adolescents. In: Psychiatry D, editor. Mental Health in the Times of COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance for General Medical and Specialised Mental Health Care Settings. Bangalore: NIMHANS; 2020. p. 33-6.
7NIMHANS. Mental Health Childrean. Bangalore: NIMHANS; 2020.
8National Health Service. Family Life During Lockdown. United Kingdom; 2020. p. 3. Available from: https://www.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/media/33429356/coping-family-life-during-the-lockdown.pdf.
9Western Health and Social Care Trust. Supporting Parents who are Worried about Their Children ' s Emotional Health & Well-being During Lockdown; 2020. p. 1-17. Available from: https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/sites/default/files/2020-04/Supporting parents of Children and YoungPeople during lockdown.whsct_.pdf.
10Thakur K, Kumar N, Sharma N. Effect of the Pandemic and Lockdown on Mental Health of Children. Indian J Pediatr 87, 552 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12098-020-03308-w
11Childline, UNICEF. Psychosocial Support for Children During COVID-19 A Manual for Parents and Caregivers. India; 2020. p. 81. Available from: https://www.unicef.org/india/reports/psychosocial-support-children-during-covid-19.