A study on the harmful effects of blockades on Australian children

Studies are emerging on the significant impact of the blockade on Australian children, including physical and mental health, academic and learning development, and socialization.

According to a survey of more than 2,000 Australians conducted by SFI Health, the majority of parents (66%) fear that their children spend a lot of time on the screen during the blockade, which can affect their cognitive health. I showed that.

Almost all parents have tried various strategies to reduce their child’s screen time, such as time limits and tactile activity.

About a quarter of parents were dissatisfied with online learning as their children became increasingly distracted and unable to concentrate.

Deirdre Brandner, a child psychologist, believes that maintaining cognitive health is particularly related to the ability to concentrate, stay focused, and retain information.

“Children returning to school in 2022 are a welcome relief for many parents, but there are some long-term disadvantages to the distance learning experience,” Brandner said. “Management of distraction, adaptation to online learning, interruptions in routines, and lack of a structured face-to-face learning experience affected their cognitive abilities.”

Brandner advises parents to be aware of warning signs of cognitive struggle, such as consistent loss of concentration, great distraction, inability to sit still, and failure to learn at previous paces. I advised.

review Led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), it summarizes the growing evidence of the indirect effects of COVID-19 on children in the long-term effects of the blockade on children in the Medical Journal of Australia. did.

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On April 5, 2020, three students are working at school in a family home and cow property in Tarpoli Creek, Australia. (Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images)

Lead author Professor Sharon Goldfeld said children faced “generation-defining turmoil” due to COVID-19 restrictions, such as virtual learning, social distance, lack of structured sports, and reduced outdoor play. I said there is.

“Children and adolescents experiencing adversity before a pandemic are affected by disproportionation and can lead to widening disparities in the outcomes of children’s health, well-being and development,” Goldfeld said. Said..

Australian children who experienced a second blockade emphasized the importance of school beyond learning by significantly increasing mental health symptoms and providing social and emotional development.

School closures have also exacerbated the situation for children with violent guardians, forcing them to spend more time together.

“Access to child protection services can diminish or shift to telemedicine services and exacerbate existing physical and emotional health problems,” Goldfeld said.

Cite research Regarding reports of child abuse during COVID-19, MCRI said it had declined significantly during the blockade in Australia and increased after the restrictions were lifted.

However, some families are also benefiting, showing resilience to pandemic-related stress and spending more time together as a family unit.

Research Australia by Save the Children also shows the negative impact of the blockade on children.

A teenager told Save the Children that he was always worried that he was “responsible for giving his COVID to his father and killing him.”

Parents surveyed said their children were also anxious and scared by people walking in the park.

“Students can’t afford to leave school,” said Matt Gardiner, executive director of Save the Children Australia. “This will have a devastating spillover effect on children, communities and the economy.”

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Parents and children are enjoying their time at the Brunswick playground in Melbourne, Australia on September 3, 2021. (DarrianTraynor / Getty Images)

Tips to help your child return to school

Brandner shared some tips to help children “return their brains to’learning mode'”, starting with regaining their daily lives.

“We are all guilty of allowing holidays to weaken some of our family rules, especially late bedtime, reduced surveillance, and increased device time,” she said. Told. “But now is the perfect time to get your child back into some sort of daily life.”

Brandner said that gradual return to daily life, such as reverting bedtime and scheduling meals for breaks and lunch, is a major way to bring children back to school. Said to have an impact.

A healthy and balanced diet is also essential to support a child’s development and is closely linked to classroom function.

“So make sure your kids have the right balance of food groups that will help them perform at the optimal level in the classroom,” Brandner said.

She also encouraged families to involve their children in setting New Year’s goals and plans. This puts the child in the idea of ​​”doing” and helps to motivate them.

Brandner also recommends helping parents implement a reward system that is tailored to their child’s interests and connect their child to their goals.

“It’s important for parents to be aware of the challenges they need to navigate in the first few weeks,” she said. “For some kids this may mean completing the task on time, but for others it may be achieving results by reading or spelling.”

“As parents, we need to encourage and allow our children to reach their potential by supporting the’you can’approach. “

Rebecca Chu


Rebecca Zhu is an Australian reporter based in Sydney. She focuses on Australia’s economy, property and education. Contact her at [email protected]