The impact of Covid-19 and children and the young is touched on in an advice video produced by the Maltese Paediatric Association.
The young are considerably less likely to develop complications from Covid-19 than the general population, but the pandemic nevertheless impacts them in other ways, not least as a result of the measures that have been implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The MPA thus advises the authorities to seek to mitigate the impact the pandemic had on three key areas of child and adolescent health in line with the European Academy of Paediatrics.
The first is protection, with the MPA calling for the promotion of childhood vaccination programmes and for efforts to ensure children’s physical and emotional safety.
But play is also of crucial importance, with the paediatricians emphasising the need to promote exercise among the young, particularly in light of Malta’s high childhood obesity rates.
The final key area is education, with the MPA agreeing that children should return to school to avoid further gaps in education, a loss of daily structure and motivation for learning. Whilst pointing out that the risk of Covid-19 transmission between children remained low, the association nevertheless emphasised the need to ensure that schools reopen safely.
The MPA also stressed the importance of a collective effort to reduce the local community transmission rate, appealing to all to continue following the advice of the public health authorities.