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Long confinement at home affects kids’ mental health, expert says

Long confinement at home amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can affect children's mental and emotional health, an expert said.

In Bernadette Reyes' report on “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday, some youngsters shared that their mood have been gloomy for the past months.

“Malungkot po kasi wala pong magawa,” eight-year-old Theresa Mamaba said.

“Super nakakabagot po as in wala pong magawa. Parang cellphone, tulog, kain [na lang]. Stressed [din] po sobra lalo po kasi dagdag po yung modules,” added Shekinah Galve, a Grade 7 student.

According to an expert, staying at home without any interaction withm the outside world can affects one’s mental health, especially children’s.

“Yung kanilang mental health, syempre, naaapektuhan kasi matagal silang walang interaction sa ibang bata tapos yung kanilang learning mismo, yung development, apektado rin po,” said Dr. John Andrew Camposano of the Philippine Pediatric Society.

Children’s rights group Salinlahi is pushing for better spaces for children to move in amid the pandemic.

“Yung right to play and engage in recreational activities ay isa sa mga naihanay sa karapatan ng mga bata and we want to assert this right,” said Eule Bonganay, Secretary-General of Salinlahi.

“Designate safe spaces kung saan makakapaglaro yung mga bata, makakapag ehersisyo nang ligtas, nang may sapat na proteksyon sa sakit na nakamamatay,” he added.

Senator Vicente Sotto III has been proposing that face-to-face classes push through in places with few or no COVID-19 cases.

The pediatrician, however, wants to highlight that not only should the students and schools be prepared for, but also the whole community.

“Dapat mababa ang transmission rate sa isang community para magbukas po ang school, para safer for children. Dapat ready yung buong community for safe re-opening of classes,” Dr. Camposano said.

Senator Sonny Angara, meanwhile, said that the government must prepare thoroughly for this plan and should first do a “pilot testing” in one or two provinces. — Franchesca Viernes/BM, GMA News