Covid-19 has forced all of us, including the children, to completely change our lifestyles. This change of lifestyle has affected the children the most with lesser amounts of physical activities and movement compared to the pre-covid times.
According to UNICEF , since January 2020, over 7,100 children and adolescents died from Covid-19. Moreover, the recent National Family Health Survey, which was conducted in the pre-covid time, observed an increase in obesity among children in 20 out of the 22 states. Several healthcare experts believe that this trend of obesity among children is expected to worsen in the wake of the current pandemic due to the lack of adequate physical activities and unhealthy eating habits. Additionally, it has also been observed that children and adolescents are susceptible to stress and anxiety because of the disruptions brought upon in their daily lives due to Covid-19.
The likely emergence of a possible third Covid wave along with the absence of vaccine for children in India has had the parents worried about their child’s health and safety for quite some time.
Keeping in mind the importance of maintaining health and fitness among children, Sportz Village organized a webinar, titled, “Building Children’s Immunity to Fight Covid-19”, on June 17th, 2021. The webinar focused on communicating the need for children to boost their immunity along with providing guidance to schools and parents on how they can help children in keeping active, healthy, and safe. The webinar was attended by 340 attendees.
Keynote speakers of the webinar were Dr. Aruna Jagdish, MBBS, D.C.H. Pediatrician, Bangalore, Ms Anagha Pandit, Clinical Psychologist and Therapist, Bangalore, and KVS Seshasai, CEO EuroKids & Kangaroo Kids Pre-School. The webinar was moderated by Krish Iyengar, Head, Sportz Village Schools.
In the webinar, Dr. Aruna shed light upon the importance of boosting immunity not only in children but in the entire family. She stressed upon the fact that consuming nutritious meals and aiming to become lean should be the mission of the entire family. She also emphasized on the importance on maintaining Covid safety protocols and urged parents and grandparents to get vaccinated and avoid getting infected. Parents should also take care of their child’s sleep cycle. Stating that children who play are happy and fit children, she also discussed the importance of physical activity, and suggested that children should focus on mindfulness activities.
Ms. Anagha Pandit stressed upon the importance of mental health. Moreover, she elaborated on the psychological impact of lockdown in terms of isolation and social deprivation. She strongly recommended making home a child’s new playground and advised parents to involve their children in a few age-appropriate household chores as a means of family bonding and getting some physical activity in children. When children are involved in physical activity, they release happy hormones which further reduces stress in them.
Mr. KVS Seshasai, an expert in the educational field, laid emphasis on maintaining the all-round development of children in the virtual way as well. He also mentioned the importance of taking this time to teach the children the fundamental sports skills and developing muscle strength in them. In his set of schools, they have been following age-appropriate physical education classes which are guided by professionals. He also called out that both teachers and children have adapted well to the digital medium now.
The webinar was concluded by a thankyou note from Krish Iyengar, Sportz Village, wherein he acknowledged thatnutritious diet, adequate sleep and regular physical activity are key elements for boosting a child’s immunity. Moreover, parents can be instrumental in helping children maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. Lockdown does not mean that children adapt to a sedentary lifestyle, Covid or No Covid, children should be physically and mentally fit and healthy for their all-round development.