While going outdoors could help children after a year of lockdown, a psychiatrist said this would pose a new challenge to parents in explaining the risks of contracting the Covid-19 virus to their children.

Psychiatrist Bernadette Arcena-Manalo said on July 16 that parents must continue to guide their children by explaining why they cannot go out during a pandemic and be role models by also not showing they are anxious about the situation.

“The pandemic is a pandemic at pag lumabas ang kabataan (and if children go out), they don’t know yet the [magnitude of] problems [when they contract the virus], and they could not sustain [wearing a] mask or continue the handwashing,” Arcena-Manalo said in a televised briefing.

Episodes of anxiety and depression could manifest in children and adolescents as they are not exposed to social settings because of the quarantine and isolation, Arcena-Manalo said.

She urged parents to give their children attention, especially if they are crying excessively, having temper fits, frequent mood changes, and not interacting and communicating with them.

“[This is a] very good chance for the family to really connect with each other. Now is the high time for everyone to reconnect and bond with each other. Let’s spread love and peace in our own abode,” the doctor said.

Earlier, Metro Manila mayors unanimously signed a resolution to draw up a list of allowable outdoor areas or parks with a 50-percent capacity limit and marshals. “Parks” were defined as any place with no roof and an alfresco area with proper ventilation, including the ground and open areas outside malls.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte was the first to designate child-friendly zones. Jelo Ritzhie Mantaring