PARENTS fear their children’s lack of social time amid the pandemic is worse than missing school, a poll shows.
Some 51 per cent of mums and dads say their not spending time with pals is their biggest worry.
And 48 per cent say missing school is their greatest worry in the poll of 1,000 UK adults for Children’s Mental Health Week, which starts today.
It comes after a report by the Children’s Commissioner last week revealed that one in six British children were suffering mental health difficulties during lockdown and school closures.
Anne Longfield urged the Government to set out a concrete plan to help schools re-open.
And in a heartfelt appeal yesterday, Prince Harry spoke out about the need to protect vulnerable children during the pandemic.
The Duke of Sussex, the patron of WellChild, the charity for seriously ill children, said: “As we continue to battle this health crisis, the existing needs of vulnerable children shouldn’t be forgotten.
“We must make sure young people with serious health conditions continue to receive the support they need as we recover, rebuild, and work to return to normal life.”
Harry’s sister-in-law Kate Middleton appealed to parents to look after themselves during what she called “this hugely challenging time”.
In a video, the Duchess of Cambridge said mums and dads should try to find “creative ways to share thoughts, ideas and feelings.”
She said: “Whether that’s through photography, through art, through drama, through music or poetry – it’s finding those things that make you feel good about yourself.”
NHS data shows 9.4 per cent of five to ten-year-olds had a mental health dis- order in 2017.
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Latest figures from August 2020 reveal that figure had rocketed to 14.4 per cent — and is now probably even higher.
For 11 to 16-year-olds in 2017, 12.6 per cent had a mental health disorder — but three years later that increased to 17.6 per cent.
And for five to 16-year-olds, the numbers rocketed from 10.8 per cent to 16 per cent — one in six.
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