11 July 2023

Helping children cope during and after a crisis

Heartbreakingly, many families and communities in South Asia have dealt with much disaster and tragedy over the last few years.  Last year alone, families across the region faced devastating floods, heat waves, drought, cholera outbreaks and landslides, all while still shouldering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.   When crises strike, they’re…, Immediate things to do when crisis strikes, Safety comes first. Do everything in your power to ensure you and your children can reach a safe place and be with safe people.   If you or your children need medical help - for example for physical injuries – ensure you are able to get help without delay. You may want to take someone with you for emotional support.  Speak up for what you and your…, Keeping children calm during a crisis, During a crisis our fight or flight response is activated. Your child can be overwhelmed by a range of intense emotions and feelings of stress and loss of control.    Reassure children that they are safe and are being taken care of  Keep calm.   Reassure your children that you, and others, are there to support and protect them.  If true, emphasize…, Supporting children after a crisis, Children have a wide range of response to crisis — and different children will react differently to the same events.   Some children and teenagers experience temporary worries and fears that get better quickly. Others may experience longer-term problems.   Children might not want to be with people as much as before, avoid school, or have trouble…, Supporting children who are struggling for a longer period after a crisis, Following a crisis, most children will recover within a few weeks. However, others may experience longer-term problems such as fear, depression, withdrawal, anger, haunting memories, avoiding reminders of the event, regressive behaviour, worrying about themselves and others dying or being hurt, and irritability.    Children are at greater risk for…
13 February 2023

3 Years of COVID-19: What now for children’s health and well-being?

It’s been a distressing few years for children in South Asia. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate disasters and rising food prices caused by economic shocks have cast a shadow over the health and well-being of millions of them.  Depression, anxiety, grief, loneliness, the loss of parents and loved ones, missed childhood vaccinations, long COVID,…, Depression, anxiety and stress , The last few years have created an extremely challenging environment for children — and feeling upset and worried is a natural response for them to have.  These feelings may have continued for a long time, or even got worse as life has returned to ‘normal’ and children have struggled to adjust.  In South Asia, many children and young people can…, Grief , Countless children in South Asia have lost loved ones and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. And if children have never been exposed to death before, facing loss for the first time can be as confusing as it is upsetting.  There is no ‘correct’ way to grieve, and no specific stages in which different emotions or behaviours should appear.   A…, Long COVID , Fortunately, children have a very low risk of becoming severely unwell from COVID-19. Most children make a full recovery from the virus without showing any symptoms at all.  However, some children have gotten sick, and some have developed long COVID, where they experience symptoms that affect their physical, mental or social well-being for months…, Missed childhood vaccines  , health worker Basanta Malla (left) administers vaccines to 3-month-old Rhythm Childhood vaccines are the safest way to keep children healthy, happy and protected against many dangerous, but vaccine-preventable, diseases.    When life was disrupted during the pandemic, millions of children in South Asia missed their routine vaccine doses. This has…, Socializing, learning and development  , Jisha, 3, pictured outside their home Lockdowns and school closures had a serious impact on children’s development.  Keeping children indoors kept them safe from COVID-19. But it also robbed them of critical experiences that help them develop.  As children navigate life beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, parents should watch out for a few possible…