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Lockdowns May Actually Improve Mental Health in Children

Till now, research has shown that the coronavirus pandemic and the specific measures taken to control it have led to negative consequences on the mental health of people of all age groups ranging from children to older adults. This is also why most health experts have warned and are now expecting a mental health pandemic to either start after the current health crisis or side by side with it.

In order to lower the transmission rates to lower the number of new infections, one of the most mandatory steps was the previously imposed total lockdowns and the introduction of work from home along with remote schooling via the internet. Such strategies have made a significant difference with reports stating the lockdowns prevented millions of new cases in all countries around the globe.

However, there was also another impact of the lockdowns as well. Even if they are over, many offices and schools are continuing with remote learning and working primarily due to the fact that the risk is still very high and transmission in indoor workplaces and learning institutes is more likely to happen.

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Read also: Pooled Testing May Help in Tracing New Infections 

Regardless of the chances, some states had reopened schools only to shut them down in a short time span because they led to a tremendous increase in infections among children.

While some experts state that lack of schools and space outside the home can greatly impact the mental health of children, a new study shows remote school may actually be better for some children.

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The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol, showed that children especially in the 13-14 age group were actually reporting lower levels of anxiety while staying at home during the pandemic.

Read the study here. 

More specifically, it was discovered that around twenty-six percent of the body and fifty-four percent of the girls in their early teens experienced improvements in their mental health along with more controlled levels of anxiety.

In addition, many of the children even reported that instead of facing problems during the lockdown, many were able to communicate with their teachers as well as their schools and have greater help with problems related to studying and any other difficulty associated with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, mental well-being improved in both boys and girls. The highest boost was experienced by those who reported the most mental health issues before the beginning of the pandemic.

These findings were the exact opposite of what most child health experts and the researchers of the study expected. Since the pandemic is seen to lead to a negative impact on mental health, any kind of improvement was highly unlikely to be seen.

The leading investigator of the study, Emily Widnall, states that the results show how the environment of certain schools can play a fundamental role in affecting children’s mental well-being. Many times, the pressure to act a certain way, perform better, and other similar factors contribute to anxiety among the children.

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Widnall added that since the findings made room for further research, her team plans on investigating on how the aforementioned factors at school can impact children’s mental state.