30 November 2023

The power of parenting

Three different families. Three different stories. With one thing in common: Whatever a family’s situation, growing up feeling loved makes a critical difference in a child’s life. A mother hugs her daughter in Bolivia Becoming a single parent in Bolivia has meant a radical change in Sandra’s life. > Read now A man hugs his granddaughter A…, Raising the next generation, “I don’t know yet if I am a good mother, I only know I love my daughter.” Sandra, mother of Nathaly In the northern outskirts of La Paz in Bolivia, many women face the challenge of raising children on their own in an environment marked by economic hardships and patriarchal traditions. For Sandra, who studies law in the morning and designs shawls…, Rebuilding a family, A man hugs his granddaughter. When a devastating earthquake hit Türkiye on 6 February 2023, 10-year-old Sidra and her family's life was changed forever. As Sidra navigates life after the disaster and the death of her father and sister, her grandfather Hassan has stepped in as a pillar of strength and support. A young girls sitting alongside her…, A safe place, A family of three - parents and their son in the middle. In the face of their own mental health challenges, Eleanor, a journalist, and Robin, a major crimes detective, always knew parenting wouldn't be easy. Eleanor, diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, has been living with these conditions since childhood.…, The power of parenting, Every child deserves to grow up in a loving, nurturing and safe environment. But providing nurturing care takes time and resources – things that many parents and caregivers don’t have.  UNICEF believes every parent and caregiver should receive the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life. Caregivers who receive the…
01 September 2023

Navigating pregnancy and COVID-19

Pregnancy is a special time full of excitement and anticipation, but a positive COVID test can cause fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Read our expert tips on how to keep yourself and your baby safe., Jump to:, Understanding my risk How to protect myself If I have COVID-19 will I pass it to my baby? I have COVID-19. Can I safely breastfeed my baby? Getting the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant Getting the COVID-19 vaccine while breastfeeding COVID-19 vaccines and fertility, I'm pregnant. Am I at higher risk from COVID-19?, Pregnant women do not seem to be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. However, you are at higher risk of serious illness if you get COVID-19 while pregnant. You are also at higher risk of delivering your baby prematurely if you get COVID-19. That’s why it’s important that you – and the people around you – take precautions to protect against…, What should I do to protect myself from COVID-19 while pregnant?, Pregnant women should take the same precautions to avoid COVID-19 infection as other people. To help protect yourself and people around you: Make sure you are up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccine doses, including booster doses, as recommended to you by your health authority. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub., If I have COVID-19 will I pass it to my baby?, Transmission of the virus while your baby is in the womb or during birth is possible, but very rare. Most babies won't develop COVID-19 disease, and those who develop symptoms tend to recover quickly.  The best thing you can do is to take all necessary precautions to prevent yourself from contracting COVID-19. If you’re pregnant or have just given…, I have COVID-19. Can I safely breastfeed my baby?, Yes. Transmission of active COVID-19 (virus that can cause infection) through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected to date, so there is no reason to stop or avoid breastfeeding. The benefits of skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks of transmission and illness associated with COVID-19. If…, Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant?, Yes, you can get vaccinated if you are pregnant. Although the overall risk of severe illness from COVID-19 remains low, pregnancy puts you at higher risk of severe illness compared to people who are not pregnant. You are also at higher risk of delivering your baby prematurely if you contract COVID-19.Many people around the world have been…, Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?, Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is very safe and there is no risk to the mother or baby. None of the current COVID-19 vaccines have live virus in them, so there is no risk of you transmitting COVID-19 to your baby through your breastmilk from the vaccine. In fact, the antibodies that you have after vaccination may go through the breast milk and help…, I plan to have a child. Can COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?, No, you may have seen false claims on social media, but there is no evidence that any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can affect fertility in women or men. You should get vaccinated if you are currently trying to become pregnant.
30 June 2023

Strengthening care for families and supporting mental health

Being mentally healthy gives us the ability to enjoy life and cope with good and bad days. For children, it is vital to their ability to understand and manage their emotions, form nurturing and meaningful connections, play, learn and grow. The pandemic highlighted just how much our mental health is a reflection of the world around us. It isn't…, It starts at home, Safe and nurturing environments at home are fundamental to the emotional and psychological development of children and adolescents. The presence of a stable adult caregiver supports children’s and adolescents’ overall sense of wellbeing. In times of crises, re-establishing routines supports a child’s or adolescent’s coping and recovery.   While…, Caring for the caregiver  , Research  shows that supporting the mental health of parents and caregivers can avert instances of abuse, neglect, and adverse experiences during childhood.  When parents are supported and enabled to parent well, everyone benefits. Evidence-based parenting interventions have a positive impact on the mental well-being of both the caregivers and…, Family-friendly policies , The bottom line is that caregivers need time, resources and services to be the very best they can be. Family-friendly policies, defined as those which enable families to reconcile work and family life, are essential in this context.   Family-friendly policies, including paid parental leave; access to affordable, quality childcare; breastfeeding…, The role of government and business , Despite the clear benefits of family-friendly policies for children, families, businesses and economies at large, progress in the business and public policy spaces is lacking.   Globally,  the vast majority of working parents and caregivers have no or insufficient access to family-friendly policies, especially in informal work settings that fall…
17 May 2023

How to talk to your children about COVID-19 vaccines

Getting a vaccine can be a scary and daunting experience for some children. Here are some tips for helping to explain what can be a complicated topic in simple and reassuring terms.    , 1. Make sure you’re up to date yourself, Before talking to your children about COVID-19 vaccines, it is important that you understand them yourself. It’s also crucial that you’re able to communicate about these vaccines in ways that your child will understand depending on their age. A great place to start is our conversation with Dr. Mike Varshavski.   , 2. Ask and listen, Invite your child to share what they have heard about COVID-19 vaccines and listen to their responses. There’s a chance they’ll be excited about getting the vaccine and won’t have any worries, but also the prospect that they’ve heard things that will lead to questions and concerns. That’s completely normal and you should be prepared for that. It…, 3. Be honest with them, Children have a right to know what is going on, but it should be explained to them in an age-appropriate way. Keep in mind that kids take their emotional cues from adults, so even if you are worried for your little one knowing that they might be uncomfortable, try not to overshare your fears with your child. Play can be a helpful tool for working…, 4. Let them know you’re doing it for their safety , It’s important that your child understands that you’re taking them to get the COVID-19 vaccine because it will help to keep them healthy and safe. Let them know that you’re doing it to help protect them against severe illness, and to help protect others around them.   , 5. Answer their questions, Here are some effective responses to keep in your back pocket for questions your child may have about COVID-19 vaccines: What is a vaccine? A vaccine is like a shield that protects you from an illness. The vaccine stimulates your body’s natural defenses and prepares your body to fight the disease faster and more effectively.  How do vaccines work…
30 June 2022

Towards a world of play and connection, for every child

Whether it's throwing a ball, dancing or a game of tag, everyone knows play when they see it. Irrespective of economic background or culture, people all over the world engage in play in one form or another. Yet not everyone understands play is a biological imperative for every child. Play is how young children learn to navigate the world, and…, Why is play important?, Children learn best through play. Play creates powerful learning opportunities across all areas of development – intellectual, social, emotional and physical. Through play, children learn to forge connections with others, build a wide range of leadership skills, develop resilience, navigate relationships and social challenges as well as conquer…, What are the challenges and solutions?, Promoting safe and healthy environments for parents to engage and play with children is important for them to thrive. However, parents and caregivers may experience a lack of bandwidth and support to engage in play with their children due to various stressors, including financial, personal and professional ones. Moreover, a low awareness of the…, Call to action, Now more than ever, we need to provide parents and caregivers with the support needed to care for and play with their children. Together, we can build a world of play and connection for every child everywhere. As part of a new advocacy partnership, UNICEF and the LEGO Foundation are supporting countries around the world to increase the number of…