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Wider collateral damage to children in the UK because of the social distancing measures designed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in adults
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  • Published on:
    Time to go back to school: national governments prejudice children's rights
    • Federico Marchetti, Director, Pediatrician Departement of Pediatrics, Santa Maria delle Croci Hospital, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale della Romagna, Ravenna, Italy.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Giorgio Tamburlini, Director

    Crawley E et al, in their excellent editorial (1) stress the harmful effects of school closings and social distances affecting children and adolescents following the COVID-19 pandemic. There are other different reasons that must push governments to conscientious school measures and educational supports as a significant damage to the educational and mental health of children and adolescents.

    First, as all international agencies have highlighted, prolonged closure yields serious consequences for all children and particularly for those already living in difficult circumstances, such as extreme poverty, disability, or violent environments (2,3).
    UNESCO estimates that at least 177 countries have instituted school closures at national level and several other countries have established closings at regional or local level (4). With over 90% of students worldwide (more than 1.5 billion young people) currently out of the educational context, it is clear that the greatest threats from Covid-19 to children and adolescents are to be found in educational loss, poorer nutrition, increased exposure to intrafamiliar violence, rising incidence of mental health disorders and lack of physical activity rather than in the clinical consequences of Covid-19 infection (4-8). Inequality in education and health will increase dramatically as consequences are inevitably greater for vulnerable children due to social, material and educational poverty, disability and chronic diseases, specia...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.