It’s been more than a month since we are sitting at home and waiting for the pandemic of COVID-19 to be over. Life is becoming difficult as we are unable to go out of the house, especially for those who can’t work from home. The number of activities we can do in a day has decreased drastically. But along with that, it’s not only the adults who are facing this problem. Lack of activities has become a major problem for children of all ages. Schools have closed down. All kinds of extra-curriculum classes have closed down too. Going to the playgrounds are no more allowed. There is no way a child can spend their energy by going out of their home. It is becoming a concern for all parents and doctors including bariatric surgeons of India saying that it might become drastic.
There are already a number of children who are already been suffering from childhood obesity. Now, it seems like the number of obese children will increase if parents and children are not careful. This quarantine can affect an obese child more both physically and mentally.
Effect Of Quarantine On Children Physically
In general, every child aged from 5-17 should at least have one hour of vigorous physical activity every day. Now, this one hour of physical activity has decreased and have been replaced by non-physical activities. These children are spending their time watching TV, playing video games, or studying. Not only that, sitting most of the time while not doing any activity allows them to eat all the time. If a child is already obese, he or she will eat more than any normal school day while watching TV or playing video games. Also, it has been seen that these snacks are mostly made up of too many calories. Apart from that due to so much screen times children are bound to get less time for sleeping. So, in short, too much screen time, no physical activity, too much eating and less sleep time, all of this leads to weight gain. So, not only an obese child will be gaining too much weight, but also so will a normal child.
Effect Of Quarantine On Children Emotionally
It’s quite necessary for children to go out and play for at least an hour as it not only keep them physically fit but also mentally fit. Whether they understand the gravity of the situation or not based on their age, most children will become frustrated and bored. As said by doctors, there is a reason why a child should have enough discipline and regulation in their life. This is what constructs their life and if that suddenly breaks down, it will make them mentally disturbed and depressed. Not only that an obese child is also more likely to become depressed easily compared to other kids. On top of that, lack of physical exercise can also affect them psychologically by making them stressed.
So, what can parents do to keep their children engaged to keep them mentally and physically fit? Here are some suggestions from doctors and bariatric surgeons of India:
- Limit their screen time up to only 2-3 hours.
- Help them maintain their routine as much as possible.
- Fill their normal school hours with various activities, like reading books, painting, cooking etc.
- Spend time with them as much as possible.
- Teach them to do free-hand exercises or do it with them at least for an hour.
- Encourage indoor games and activities like skipping, dancing etc.
So, try to keep yourself and your children physically and mentally fit. Do not let your child fall into the traps of childhood obesity.