COVID-19; pandemics; pediatrics; psychological distress; psychological resilience; adolescent; child; psychological adaptation; mental health


Community Health | Other Medical Sciences | Psychiatric and Mental Health


The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a deleterious impact on global health. School-aged children were significantly impacted by the pandemic. These impacts may be attributed to the fact that this age group is at a vulnerable developmental stage and is susceptible to profound effects. We conducted a thorough literature review using PubMed, Medline, and Science Direct electronic database searches between 2020-2022. We retrieved 757 studies, 25 of which were included in our review. We considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical and mental health of school-aged children (5-18 years), and the results were analyzed and included in our narrative review. Reduced physical activity and low health-related quality of life were observed in school-aged children during the pandemic in comparison to pre-pandemic. Factors such as age, fears/stress, mood states, socioeconomic status, pre-COVID sedentary time, and activity levels were attributed to reduced physical activity. Depression and anxiety were the most common symptoms noted. Absenteeism, substance abuse, sleep disorders, and eating disorders were also increased. The negative influence of increased screen time, restricted physical activity, and social isolation were also considered and discussed. The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a physical, mental, and social contagion for children. Interventions to promote physical and mental health need to be initiated in homes, schools, communities, and countries.