Australian children and adolescents under the age of 18 in New South Wales (NSW) will now be allowed to go and play at a friend’s house.
The NSW Crisis Cabinet agreed on 20 September to allow children to form a “friend bubble” group of three from 21 September.
All three in each bubble must remain the same and cannot change, and the parent or caregiver cannot interact with each other while leaving the babies.
Children also do not need to be vaccinated to join the bubble, however, all adults in all households must be fully vaccinated.
Friends must also live within a 5 km radius of each other or live in the same local government area.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she hoped it would help the well-being of young people struggling under lockdown.
“It’s taken a few months for parents and kids to try to balance both work, often from home, as well as homeschooling,” Berejiklian said in a statement.
“This change will hopefully make a big difference for families during the school holidays and will allow young children and teens to catch up and reconnect with their friends.”
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said this was a nice change, and would allow Year 12 students to form smaller study groups, called HSCs, for the upcoming final exams.
Michele said, “Year 12 students have had a stressful few months, and with the arrival of HSC, there is a program to help students maintain motivation, get support from a classmate and continue their preparation for the upcoming exams. The study bubble is a good idea.”
mental health shadow epidemic
The decision comes after reports of a 31 per cent increase in children hospitalized for reasons related to suicide and suicidal intent.
NSW Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Murray Wright advises parents to examine how their children are coping with restrictions.
“Parents should assume that their children are battling the pandemic as we all are, and make it a topic of conversation,” Wright told 2GB radio on August 30.
Professor Valsamma Eipen from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) said the lockdown restrictions will have a cumulative long-term impact on children and adolescents as they are cut off from personal development through social interactions.
“People don’t really take into account the kind of emergency room presentations that we’re seeing now,” Eipen said. “There has been a 25 to 48 percent increase in children coming to the hospital, and presentations are becoming more intense, more and more young children are presenting, and the complexity of presentations is increasing.”
Eppen, who is also chair of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, advises parents to look for two types of behaviors that indicate their child is struggling mentally: withdrawal. And isolation, and acting out with aggression and anger.
For parents who find it difficult to communicate with their children who display this type of behavior, Eapen said parents can ask the child to suggest someone they can talk to. Be comfortable, such as a relative or teacher. Parents can also access helplines and mental health support services.
“Tell the child that you’re concerned for her mental well-being, and maybe they can suggest someone they’re comfortable talking to,” Eapen said.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times