The pandemic has had a deep impact on children, who are arriving in A&E in greater numbers and at younger ages after self-harming or taking overdoses, writes Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Children are a lost tribe in the pandemic. While they remain (for the most part) perplexingly immune to the health consequences of COVID-19, their lives and daily routines have been turned upside down.
From surveys and interviews carried out for the Born in Bradford study, we know that they are anxious, isolated and bored, and we see the tip of this iceberg of mental ill health in the hospital.
Children in mental health crisis used to be brought to A&E about twice a week. Since the summer it's been more like once or twice a day. Some as young as 10 have cut themselves, taken overdoses, or tried to asphyxiate themselves.
There was even one child aged eight.
Lockdown "massively exacerbates any pre-existing mental health issues - fears, anxieties, feelings of disconnection and isolation," says A&E consultant Dave Greenhorn.
Source: BBC News, 2 February 2021
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