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Dr Emily Andre discusses the pandemic's effects on kids' mental health as survey reveals parents' worries

A Loose Women investigation has found that 55% of parents fear that the global Coronavirus pandemic will have a long-term effect on their children's mental health. 

The Covid Kids: The State of Our Children's Wellbeing survey also found that 46% of parents agree that their child's mental health has suffered for the first time ever as a result of the pandemic. 

OnePoll surveyed 1000 parents with children aged 4-16. 

Speaking about the results Dr Emily Andre said: "I think it's completely normal, a lot of parents are going to be worrying about how this is going to affect them going forward."

 "I think there are so many factors, it's really complex. It's different for everybody. With the multiple lockdowns we’ve had and school closures, a lot of kids are probably feeling very socially isolated, they've lost their routine and structure and a lot of coping measures they probably had to deal with stresses in their life before the Covid pandemic, they can't draw on those anymore. They're on the internet a lot more. Maybe cyber bullying, maybe less physical exercise, I think all of these things are going to play into increased numbers of mental health presentations in children that we're seeing."

Emily opened up about her own experience raising young children with her husband, Peter Andre, during the pandemic.

"Like all parents we are just doing the best we can day by day. The way I’ve done it is to try and give the kids as much routine and structure as possible," she said.

"When everything around them is chaos, trying to make some sort of stability for them. So, trying to get them out of bed at the same time, going to bed at the same time, routine around their meals and just trying to do activities, trying to get them to do exercise if I can. Simple things like that really, but it's really difficult."

She also reflected on her own experience with coronavirus, having had it herself in 2020. "I felt really quite fearful actually, I think we knew less than we know now," she explained.

"It was really quite a stressful time for us. I kept away from the children completely for two weeks. Luckily, I recovered completely. When Pete had it a bit more recently, I felt more relaxed. He didn’t, going through it himself he felt quite anxious. But I felt quite relaxed and I tried to put that across to the kids so they didn’t feel worried and anxious. I think it’s easy to put your anxiety onto them, isn’t it?"

Asked what kind of patient husband Peter was, she said: "It was the anxiety again for him. He's healthy, he does a lot of exercise, but he was still really worried. I understand that. We see so much in the media, don't we, about the scary stories. I think that really impacted him. Other than that, he was quite a good patient, I have to say."

Watch Emily's interview in the video above and catch the full episode on the ITV Hub.

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Weekdays 12.30pm