A running of the bulls without consequences - La Provincia
Italy has just allowed, with the rejection of some regions, that the children take to the streets, near their houses, to take a short walk accompanied by a parent. A few days ago, the President of Aragon, Javier Lambán, asked for a similar measure to Pedro Sánchez. It was not successful. Many authorized voices -like the authors Silvia Nanclares and Esther Vivas or the university professor César Rendueles- are emphasizing the adultcentrism that governs the Government, unable to name once the millions of boys and girls who remain locked up in their homes. Asked about the possibility that parents -like pet owners- can take a short walk with your children while confinement lasts for him coronavirus, Health Minister Salvador Illa said last week that he did not. Although he used other words: "It is important to comply with the measures. We know that it is an effort and that they alter daily life, but if we did not know that they are necessary, we would not do it."
The political message is clear. With the exception of those with "behavioral disturbances or autism spectrum diagnosis", Spanish children will continue at home 24 hours a day. Are we risking your physical and mental health? No, according to medicine and psychology. We speak, for the record, of healthy children. Children without financial or emotional deficiencies. Middle-class children, who live in houses with windows through which to take direct sun or simply light. Children who receive time, attention and affection from their parents. If adults manage this unprecedented health crisis well and don't turn their home into an endless trench of anxiety and stress, minors will emerge from this feat with few scratches. Or neither.
"If there is an organ that serves to adapt, it is the brain. And if a brain serves to adapt it is that of a healthy child, "he says. the doctor, pediatrician and neuropaediatrician María José Mas, all a neurodevelopmental authority and author of 'The adventure of your brain'. "On a physical level nothing is going to happen to them. They are not going to atrophy or anything like that. The only physical problem they may have is insomnia, caused by anxiety or nightmares. That is why we must reduce the tension at home. Without lying to them, of course. Children are smart, adapt and understand circumstances. Right now, it is normal to be worried. The natural thing is that all this that we are living has an impact on emotional health. If we adults manage it well now, then we will do better. There will be repercussions, but they will be milder if we try to manage confinement well. If the parents manage it with relative calm, the children too. "
Stay at home
Not being able to leave home is very hard. But Dr. Mas remembers that children are the main carrier vector, most are asymptomatic and it is very easy for them to spread by accident. "There is much to criticize regarding the management of this crisis by the political authorities. But, even if it is late, the decisions that have been made are the right ones. An epidemic only ends when the virus has no one else to infect. And for that there are three options: have a vaccine or that the entire population is infected or separate the infected from those who are not. With this clear, you stay at home. Children, too. Wouldn't it add stress to families taking the little ones out to the street for ten minutes without letting go of their hands, without letting them touch anything, without them running and with a maximum burden telling them many times how careful they should be? "Asks the specialist, Head of the Neuropediatrics area of the Xarxa Sanitaria i Social de Santa Tecla.
"Let's not underestimate the adaptability of the human being", Add the family psychologist Agnès Brossa (author of 'Em dic Joan i crec que sóc dolent', Eumo Editorial), which, however, does highlight the comparative grievance caused by the fact that dog owners can take their pets out on the street. "I do see that minipaseo, a kind of 'break' of the confinement positive. Having said that, we must remind parents that if they try to cope well there will be no consequences on the psychological health of their children. Let's do simple activities with them, we order closets, we assemble puzzles or we play parcheesi. And let us also get bored. Nothing happens because they spend a while lying on the carpet looking at one foot. "
The neuropsychologist and disseminator Álvaro Bilbao, who is also the father and author of 'The child's brain explained to parents' (Current Platform), is convinced that, in the long term, the confinement will not have significant psychological consequences in minors. But he adds: "What will define their psychological well-being is going to be the attitude of the parents." In times of coronavirus, the highest authority should not be political or educational, but health, he highlights. "The other day I heard a virologist say that it would be a very big risk to let the children go out into the street. I believe it at face value," explains the expert, who does applaud the legal possibility that minors with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can go for a walk.
Another parent concern is the lack of sun in the little ones. Doctors make it clear that no need for vitamin D supplements. A few minutes in direct sun (be careful if it hits hard) -or the light from the window- and adequate diet are enough.