Hannover. Is the health of children and adolescents suffering from the Corona crisis? Observations by doctors from Lower Saxony now provide evidence of this. “We see immense effects of the whole situation,” said Tanja Brunnert, spokeswoman for the professional association of paediatricians. Many colleagues also reported that there are significantly more young patients with emotional stress. As the pediatrician said, screening examinations that are too long, lack of exercise and excess weight are more often detected. Children who are already socially disadvantaged are particularly affected.
Children suffer from not meeting friends
An evaluation of the school entrance examinations in the Hanover region shows a similar picture. Since June, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of overweight girls and boys compared to 2019. The proportion of overweight preschoolers rose from 5.4 to 7.8 percent, the proportion of those extremely overweight from 4.1 to 5.6 percent. The language skills, knowledge of German and fine motor skills of the five to six year olds had also deteriorated.
Before Corona, 4.7 percent of preschool children spent more than two hours a day in front of the television and with other media, after the lockdown it was 7.1 percent. 12.5 percent (2019: 10.7 percent) had a television in the children’s room, according to the report. 80 percent of the parents surveyed said that their children suffered from being unable to meet their friends. Around a quarter reported that their offspring were more often sad and showed fears and worries.
“For example, we have elementary school students who are rewetting,” said pediatrician Brunnert. “They talk about how difficult it is to keep the distance in the schoolyard and that there is always ranting because of that.” Asthmatics are worse off because they hardly move. Brunnert appealed to parents to take their children outside to the playground in the evening. But many young people also have fears and sleep disorders.
School entrance examinations cannot be offered
There are no numbers on the school entrance examinations for the whole of Germany in the Corona year. They had been suspended in many places when the pandemic began. A number of medical officers have not yet been able to offer the examinations of the preschoolers because they are needed in the fight against the infection, according to the Lower Saxony State Health Office.
According to the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, there are no reliable findings for Lower Saxony that there are increased language deficits in schoolchildren due to the corona. There are numerous funding offers, said a ministry spokesman. Physical education also takes place in Corona times, but the local health authorities could expose it if there are high numbers of infections. Teachers are encouraged to bring exercise into everyday school life regardless of sports lessons – of course, while observing the contact and hygiene rules.