A national survey of the psychological impact of coronavirus lockdowns on Italian children has quantified what many parents noticed offhand during weeks cooped up at home: Their kids were more irritable, had trouble sleeping and for some of the youngest, wept inconsolably and regressed developmentally.
The survey, conducted by the Giannina Gaslini Pediatric Hospital in Genoa in conjunction with the University of Genoa, found those symptoms were more acute in families where the parents themselves were particularly stressed.
Italy's health ministry on Tuesday released the results of the anonymous survey of 6,800 people, which was conducted March 24-April 3. The start date was two weeks into a 10-week lockdown in the onetime European epicenter of the outbreak,
Italy was the first country in the West to be hit hard by COVID-19. It has reported 237,000 infections and 34,371 virus-related deaths but many suspect the true toll is higher due to the many people who died without getting tested.