'Extremely stressful for them' - Ombudsman for Children calls for proportionate restrictions
The Ombudsman for Children has said that any new Covid-19 measures surrounding children socialising must be appropriate and proportionate as the last 18 months of the pandemic has already been extremely stressful for them.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Dr Niall Muldoon urged the Government to ensure that the impact of any further restrictions is assessed quickly so that they can be eased if needed, adding that while it is developmentally important for children to have social interactions outside of school, it needs to be balanced with the need to keep schools open.
Dr Muldoon also stressed the importance on children not to be penalised if their parents do not support measures around mask wearing adding there is an inbuilt unfairness in asking children to restrict their social interactions while adults are allowed to continue going to pubs and indoor gatherings.
"That's why I'm asking the Government to make sure that they analyse this within two weeks and take a look and see have we reduced sufficiently, have we moved in the direction they wanted to move and can change the recommendations at that point.
"We cannot have a blanket situation where children are bearing more of the other responsibility than the adults", he said, before pointing out how dangerous further restrictions can be for children who are living in unsafe homes.
Dr Muldoon continued to say children are facing a second Christmas living with Covid-19 and children "have it in their psyche" that the entire world is living with this deadly virus adding how important it is to promote a positive Christmas.
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