Five times more children and young people committed suicide than died of COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic in the United Kingdom, according to a study, which also concluded that lockdowns are more detrimental to children’s health than the virus itself.
Researchers with the University College London, the University of York, the University of Liverpool, and the University of Bristol found in a study (pdf) that has not yet been peer-reviewed that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, otherwise known as the coronavirus, doesn’t appear to present a significant risk to children as compared with other age groups.
The study concluded, “The risk of removal of CYP (children and young people) from their normal activities across education and social events may prove a greater risk than that of SARS-CoV-2 itself.” SARS-CoV-2 is another name for the CCP virus.
It was revealed in the study that only 25 children under the age of 18 died of COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic until the end of February 2021. Around 61 children in all died after testing positive, but in 36 cases it was found the virus “did not contribute to their death.”
But during the same time period, there were 124 suicides among children and 268 deaths from trauma, the study authors found, while noting the virus is “rarely fatal” for children.
“These new studies show that the risks of severe illness or death from SARS-CoV-2 are extremely low in children and young people,” said University College London Professor Russell Viner, a senior author of the study, in a release this week. “Our new findings are important as they will inform shielding guidance for young people as well as decisions about the vaccination of teenagers and children, not just in the UK but internationally.”
Professor Lorna Fraser of the University of York added that “even when we found higher risks for some groups with severe medical problems, these risks were still very small compared to risks seen in adults,” explaining that people should know that COVID-19 risks for children “are very low.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Elizabeth Whittaker of Imperial College London said that the researchers hope the “data will be reassuring for children and young people and their families.”
In November, one UK researcher issued a warning that COVID-19 lockdowns are causing a spike in children harming themselves and drug overdoses among children.
“Children are a lost tribe in the pandemic. While they remain (for the most part) perplexingly immune to the health consequences of COVID-19, their lives and daily routines have been turned upside down,” Dr. John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary wrote at the time.