IMPACT OF DISTANCE LEARNING AND THE FULL RETURN TO IN-PERSON CLASSES ON THE MENTAL HEALTH OF THE PEDIATRIC POPULATION DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
Keywords:Coronavirus infections, Student Health, Mental Health, Social Isolation, Pandemics
In March 2020, the closure of schools in most countries and the implementation of virtual education were ordered as a control measure to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This, along with social distancing, represented a threat to the mental health of school children. In this context, access to information technologies was a determining factor in countering social isolation and allowing the continuity of the school’s role in this population.
In this sense, several studies reported that the suspension of in-person classes and the use of virtual education, adopted because of the pandemic, had both positive and negative effects on the mental health of the pediatric population; conditioned by individual, family, and socioeconomic factors. Thus, in terms of development and mental health, the reopening of educational institutions after a prolonged period of mobility restriction and social distancing constituted both an opportunity and a challenge for the pediatric population and the family.
The objective of this article is to reflect on the differential impact that school closures and the implementation of virtual education during the COVID-19 pandemic had on the development and mental health of the school-aged population, and on the potential effects of returning to in-person education. It is hoped that this reflection will be useful in guiding the implementation of educational and child mental health care actions in future pandemics.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Sandra Elizabeth Piñeros-Ortiz, Marcelo Andrés Hernández-Yasnó, Franklin Escobar-Córdoba
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.