LEXINGTON, Ky. – The pandemic has been harsh for everyone, but children in particular have been hit hard by the indirect effects of COVID-19.
Children’s mental health has taken a toll in response to the virus.
Psychologists have noted an increase in anxiety and depression among teenagers since the beginning of the pandemic.
The use of social media has increased as children are more at home and children spend less time in groups or in school.
Professionals urge parents to be careful if your child shows signs of changes in sleeping or eating behavior, appears emotionally flatter, or is more irritable. These can be signs of mental health problems in adolescents.
“A lot of learning actually happens through play and social interaction. Social isolation has really robbed younger children of many of these opportunities to play, and play exercises the skills necessary to navigate the social world. On the other hand, by developing friendships, teens learn how to build a social network for themselves, ”said Alissa Briggs, psychologist, University of Kentucky Adolescent Medicine.
According to Briggs, children’s brains are adaptive and will recover in most students as they continue to grow and experience what they missed. So she doesn’t expect the pandemic to cause a massive problem for most children.