(NBC) Coronavirus school closures means kids are missing more than class. Here's how to help
Because of the coronavirus pandemic and state stay-at-home orders, Western children are experiencing loneliness, fear and confusion similar to what I have seen in refugee children both globally and in the United States.
A study by World Vision released on April 16, for instance, showed that one-third of 5 to 18 year olds in the U.K. have told their parents that they’re lonely since schools shut down. More than 1 in 5 (22 percent) are concerned about a family member or close friend dying from coronavirus. Younger children were more likely to worry about contracting coronavirus; 5 to 11 year olds were more likely to become clingy, cry or have tantrums and disturbed sleep; and those over 12 were more likely to become withdrawn.
During complex humanitarian emergencies, child protection staff try to get school-aged children back to school as soon as possible, since that is where they learn to socialize, problem-solve and assert their independence. Schools also provide safety, routine, structure and a sense of normalcy for children.
But getting children with trauma back to their educational institutions quickly is not and will not soon be possible while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
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