Collateral damage of Covid-19 policies for children

What are potential impacts of COVID-19 policies on children and adolescents and which public health responses are in place that aim to mitigate these adverse health impacts?

There is mounting concern that large-scale containment policies on movement and travel, closures of day care, schools and public places and bans on social gatherings are likely to impact adversely on children and adolescents. 

Keep an eye on childeren and adolecents during COVID-19

Aim of this editorial was to call attention to keep an eye on children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to ensure that the next generation’s future will be protected since a good health and wellbeing is essential for their growth throughout their transition to adulthood and thus key to a sustainable future for all.

The impact of COVID-19 in seven countries

In our editorial we provide a brief comparison of national public health policies responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and their potential impacts on children and adolescents in seven European countries: Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK). In addition, we give selected examples of specific public health responses aimed at mitigating adverse health impacts for children and adolescents. We highlight possible and proven consequences of the most important COVID-19 policies for children and adolescents, showing a range of mechanisms that are assumed to contribute to the adverse health and social outcomes.

Increase awareness of the need to timely anticipate

In our editorial, we emphasise that it is expected that the majority of European children and adolescents will experience at least some of these effects, but there is a justified fear that vulnerable children and adolescents in particular will be victims of this unprecedented and unexpected global crisis. With this editorial we hope to increase awareness of the need to timely anticipate the challenges that the COVID-19 crisis poses for children and adolescents.

Policy measures are proposed with the aim of inspiring countries to take action to limit collateral damage in children and adolescents. An example is routine vaccination that needs to continue. In this publication, you can read about the effect of the Corona crisis on routine vaccination in children in the UK.

Read: Risk to childeren and young people during covid-19 pandemic