An Uruguayan School of Medicine professor said local children were going through additional mental health issues since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a report aired Monday by the news-show Telenoche, Universidad de la República (Udelar) Professor Gabriela Garrido stressed that parents should be aware of these matters to detect developmental problems in time.
According to a 2006 study, Uruguayan children had anxiety and depression above the region's average. At that time, the problems in children and adolescents stood at 21%, which grew considerably through the pandemic.
We were a bit complicated, the pandemic complicated us, and we did not have the response capacity to invest promptly. No provider is arriving in time to provide care for more complex situations, Garrido explained while warning about the signs to which families should pay attention.
Parents need to be attentive to the way in which screens and new forms of communication are used, the use of cell phones does not help us to develop language, it does not help us to develop social communication, Garrido argued. When we do not have an interlocutor who responds we do not learn, she added. When children lose interest in playing it is also a warning sign, she went on.
”The same if sleep is disturbed at any age, changes in mood (...) there are things that are typical of adolescence, but there are levels of suffering to which we have to be attentive, if they lose interest in going out when they are invited we have to be attentive and not to mention if younger children transmit feelings, concerns and denounce situations, she told the TV show.
As per World Health Organization standards, emotional problems in children and adolescents are usually detected among 10% of the population.
Last year there was already an increase in hospital admissions associated with emotional and behavioral situations, and now we are studying the evolution in 2022,” Garrido told Montevideo's El Observador earlier this year.
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