Children among biggest victims of Covid-19 lockdown with multiple side-effects: CRY report
According to the survey 88% respondents said their children’s exposure to screens increased during the lockdown, with 45% reporting the increase “to a great extent” and only 43% of the parents/ primary caregivers said they always supervised when the child was online.
A survey done among parents has reported more agitation, increased screen-exposure and changed eating pattern among children during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The survey conducted by Child Rights and You (CRY), a non-government organisation working for the children, also reported increased bond between children and their parents as they were able to spend more time together in doing the household chores and watching television.
Follow latest updates on coronavirus here
During the survey, Rapid Online Perception Study about the Effects of Covid-19 on Children, 1,102 respondents from 23 states and Union territories were interview. It was released on Tuesday.
“Even though children have not been the face of this pandemic as they have largely been spared of the direct health effects of Covid-19 so far, findings of the study indicate that they have been among its biggest victims with multiple side-effects on their physical and psycho-social well-being,” Puja Marwaha, the chief executive officer of CRY, said.
“More than half of the parents reported that their child became more agitated and anxious during the lockdown,” said the report, adding, “37 percent of respondents reported that the child’s mental well-being and happiness were affected due to lockdown.”
Besides, 88% respondents said their children’s exposure to screens increased during the lockdown, with 45% reporting the increase “to a great extent” and only 43% of the parents/ primary caregivers said they always supervised when the child was online.
Click here for complete coronavirus coverage
About 41% of the total respondents said their children’s eating pattern changed to some extent and 35% said they changed to a great extent. Only around half (51%) of the parents, who had children below five years of age in the household, were able to access immunisation services during the lockdown, the report said.
Out of the 1,102 respondents in CRY’s survey, 1,002 reported to have children in their family and 670 reported (67%) to have children in the category of 5-18 years ie in the school-going age.
The study found that around 54% of parents reported that they sat and discussed the situation over Covid-19 and lockdown at length with the child, whereas around 47% tried to divert the mind of the child by engaging them in other activities.
Also read: India crosses Canada’s Covid-19 tally, becomes 12th worst-affected country
The study was conducted virtually, with a self-administered questionnaire with around 30 simple questions used. This questionnaire was available for response in five languages – English, Hindi, Bangla, Kannada, and Marathi. The data collection period began two weeks after the nationwide lockdown was announced.
However, since access to the internet or internet-enabled mobile devices, and internet literacy were prerequisites for the study, the report said that “possibly the participation from most marginalised and vulnerable sector of the society was limited.”
Also read: Army man who tested positive for Covid-19 commits suicide at Base Hospital
Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborty, the chairperson of West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said the survey reports came on expected line.
“We too were anticipating a similar impact on children and launched a helpline for children and their parents about a month ago. The calls the helpline is receiving reflected similar trends. Those attending the calls are counselling the children and their parents,” she said.