COVID has impacted children’s mental health, what to look out for in your kids

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but children in specific have been hit hard by the indirect impacts of COVID-19.

Mental health for children has taken a toll in response to the virus.

Mental health professionals have noticed a rise in anxiety and depression in adolescents from the beginning of the pandemic.

Social media intake has risen from children being at home more and children are spending less time in groups or at school.

Professionals urge parents to pay attention if your child displays signs of changes in sleep patterns, changes in eating patterns, seems to be more emotionally flat or is more irritable. Those can be signs of mental health struggles in adolescents.

“A lot of learning is actually done through play, right, and through social interaction. The social isolation has really taken away a lot of those opportunities for play for those younger children and play is where you kind of practice the skills you need to navigate the social world. And then again, adolescents are learning through developing friendships how to build a social network for themselves,” said Alissa Briggs, psychologist, University of Kentucky Adolescent Medicine.

According to Briggs, kids brains are adaptable and will bounce back in most students as they continue to grow and experience what they have missed, so she doesn’t expect the pandemic to cause a massive problem in the majority of children.