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Addressing the indirect effects of COVID-19 on the health of children and young people

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Chanchlani, N., Buchanan, F., & Gill, P. J.
Publication Date: 
25 Jun 2020

Key Points

  • Illness and hospital admissions directly related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been infrequent for children and young people; however, pandemic-related service closures have resulted in limited access to primary and secondary health care, parental fear of seeking health care, closures of daycares and schools, and employment and financial instability.
  • Adverse childhood experiences, including family violence, nonaccidental trauma and mental illness, are expected to increase during lockdown and worsen during the anticipated economic recession.
  • Safe care must continue to be provided in the community and in hospital, virtually or, for select cohorts, in person.
  • Clear and transparent communication with children, young people and their families is needed regarding uncertainties about ongoing care and, where applicable, the reorganization of services.
  • Social re-introduction policies, resumption of normal health care services and changes to services should be informed by systematically collected data and understanding of families’ lived experiences.