Impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable children in temporary accommodation in the UK
2 April 2020
IEDE Associate Professor Dr Marcella Ucci has co-authored a comment piece published in The Lancet Public Health looking at the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable children.
Dr Marcella Ucci has co-authored a comment just published in The Lancet Public Health about the potential impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable children in temporary accommodation in the UK. The piece emphasises the plight of young children and their families living in temporary accommodation:
Homeless children aged 5 years and younger are not only at high risk of exposure and transmission due to overcrowding in substandard housing, but also of immediate and long-term effects on growth, optimal health, and brain development."
This group has not yet been given sufficient attention from the Government under the current COVID-19 crisis. This is especially concerning, considering the lack of specific regulation on how long families can stay in temporary accommodation, whereby the current situation is very likely to prolong their stay in places where self-isolation is virtually impossible and young children will have little or no safe space to play or crawl. This could dramatically affect their chances of contracting the disease as well as impact their health and wellbeing long term, since the first 1000 days are critical for shaping a child’s life.
The piece was authored by Diana Margot Rosenthal, a PhD student at UCL’s Population, Policy and Practice department, and her team of PhD supervisors. Diana’s PhD addresses the barriers and facilitators to optimal health and health care services in children under 5s living in temporary accommodation.
Diana Margot Rosenthal, Marcella Ucci, Michelle Heys, Andrew Hayward, Monica Lakhanpaul, “Impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable children in temporary accommodation in the UK”, The Lancet Public Health, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30080-3.