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08 Dec 2021

Professor of Psychology calls on Government to give clearer advice to parents around Covid-19

Professor of Psychology calls on Government to give clearer advice to parents around Covid-19

The Minister for Education said this week that parents should reconsider hosting or attending children's parties and play dates.

A leading psychology professor has called on the Government to give clearer advice on Covid-19 to parents, following comments from the Minister for Education that parents should reconsider hosting or attending children's parties and play dates.

Orla Muldoon, who is also a member of NPHET's communications advisory group told Morning Ireland that contradictions in the Government's recommendations is making it difficult for parents to trust the advice given to curb the rise in infections.

The University of Limerick professor said:

"The communication from Government needs to make sense, so, it makes sense for people.

"Parent are being told - 'Well, don't have a party', nut their children are being sent to a school where there are 30 children. That doesn't make sense to the average parent. How is it that the party is a problem but the school isn't?

"The other thing about making it make sense is that we need to be sure that the advice that people are getting is consistent with what we now know about Covid.

"We now know that Covid is airborne. Therefore it doesn’t make sense to ask parents to cancel outdoor parties. In fact, it makes less sense to ask them to cancel outdoor parties than to ask them to continue to send their children to school," she added.

Meanwhile, businesses that are providing children's parties have seen a surge in cancellations.

Co-owner of Really Grand Events based in Dublin, Niall O'Dwyer told Morning Ireland these cancellations are leaving his company vulnerable.

"We’ve had a couple of cancellations from clients who have decided to postpone or cancel their plans for children’s birthdays.

"There is definitely a fall off from the house parties. It does leave us very vulnerable," he added.

A Morning Ireland vox-pop asked a group of parents outside a Dublin pre-school their feelings on the mixed messaging from the Government.

While most agreed that cutting down parties and play dates is the right step, some still had children's events planned and said they were prepared to hold the parties outside.

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