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The impact of COVID-19 on young children and what you can do

 
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COVID-19 UnmaskedDespite Queensland’s success in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, families and children may still experience some stress and anxiety.

This uncertain and unpredictable environment of social distancing, shutdowns and empty supermarket shelves continues to affect many families with young children.

COVID-19 Unmasked is a national study by Children’s Health Queensland to look at how children aged 1–5 and their families are coping with the pandemic.

The study aims to understand:

  • the different types of experiences young children and families are having
  • how young children are coping with the many social and lifestyle changes
  • how caregivers are coping and supporting their children during this time.

The findings and the research

Key findings showed that 80% of children had good mental health, however, it’s important to note:

  • 1 in 4 children are experiencing higher than average levels of anxiety symptoms
  • 5–10% of children may need specialised mental health support
  • 1 in 5 parents are struggling with moderate to severe anxiety, depression or stress.

You can read the findings of the COVID-19 Unmasked survey under the ‘What we’ve learned so far’ tab (noting the survey is not currently active).

Tips and useful links for educators

While COVID-19 related stressors and difficulties are likely to be normal and/or transient for most, some children and parents may require higher levels of psychological support.

As an educator, there are a number of things you can do to support young children through this time (PDF, 258KB). This includes skills training, monitoring for signs and practical activities to manage stress and anxiety.

The COVID-19 Unmasked Resources tab provides links to a range of resources and fact sheets, including:

Read the reports

You can read the executive summaries for Early findings and recommendations (PDF, 747KB) and Impact of the second wave in Australia on the mental health of young children and parents (PDF, 232KB) reports.

Full reports are also available under the ‘What we’ve learned so far’ tab.

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Last updated 30 April 2021