How pandemic can impact on children like four-year-old Cody

Picture of a dad and his two children

Single dad Mike Trower and family - Credit: Submitted

A single dad from Paignton has described how the Coronovirus pandemic has had a serious effect on his four-year-old son.

Mike Trower, 33, had planned to open a new business which had to be put on hold when the Coronavirus crisis began.

During lockdown he started to notice his son Cody’s behaviour change dramatically.

He said: “He now has real social anxiety. He regularly tells me he’s sad and angry.

“He’ll scream out the car window and cry and have a panic attack and it’s because he’s spent so much time with me this year and now he struggles to be on his own.

“His bed is just across the hall through the lounge and I now have to leave the lounge and hall lights on as he says my room is too far away.

“If I shut the car door and walk around to fill up on petrol, he’ll undo his belt and stand up and say ‘what are you doing?’

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“He didn’t used to be like this.”

Mike’s experience is increasingly familiar according to a poll by YouGov.

It found almost half of families reported their children suffered anxiety, 38 per cent were scared of getting ill or dying, others reported children suffering mood swings and panic attacks.

Charity Action for Children, which helps the country’s most vulnerable children, explored the effects of the pandemic on families supported by the charity’s Emergency Fund through an investigation which revealed the extent of the mental health toll on children.

Deputy chief executive of Action for Children, Carol Iddon, said: “Vulnerable children who should be enjoying a safe and happy childhood are suffering nightmares, panic attacks, or being scared of issues like death and illness.

“In a year when children and families have been pushed deeper into crisis, supporting them is more important than ever.

“Families cannot rely on the generosity of the public alone, the Government must play its part.

“The Chancellor must give struggling families peace of mind by promising he will not cut Universal Credit payments by over £1,000 a year.”