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Positive COVID-19 tests can be harmful to children’s mental health

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A positive result of a regular COVID-19 test can have negative effects on the child’s mental stability, according to the Olomouc clinical psychologist Adam Suchý.

One child’s positive COVID-19 test result can send the whole class into quarantine which can provoke bullying of the “guilty” student. Currently, some students returned to schools with regular testing conditions in effect from April 12. 

Suchý noted that after a year of lockdown, children are very excited to come back. They want to become a part of their social group again, but public testing and the possibility of negative results can make them feel isolated again.

“Children have no physical problems, they feel healthy, most of them are looking forward to school for friends and socialization, and suddenly, someone marks them as sick and dangerous to their surroundings,” Suchý explained.

Children who are not the leaders of the group might feel weak when other kids blame them for yet another quarantine. According to the psychologist, it is dangerous and wrong to create an atmosphere of disrespect because not every kid can handle it correctly.

“We should be interested in those children for whom it will be a problem because children “somehow” can handle neglect, abuse, or bullying, but that doesn’t mean we should expose them to it,” Suchý clarified. 

Experts offered teachers to assure children that nothing bad will happen if the results come out positive and nobody will be blamed for that. Parents also should provide emotional support to their children.

“It’s all about the pedagogical mastery of individual teachers. I have seen several classes when children were not bothered by tests and the possibility of a positive result, all because the teachers handled it correctly,” Pavel Hofírek, the director of the Stupkova primary school in Olomouc, stated. 

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