4 Data Points That Reveal How Badly Covid School Policies Harmed Kids

A growing body of research has revealed the extent of the harm being done to American children during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Administrators should think twice before going ahead with another round of school closures.


The “crushing impact” of Covid policies on children is the biggest underreported story of the year, according to reporter Jan Crawford, who said as much during a year-end panel Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Despite having extremely low risk for Covid-related serious illness or death, healthy children and teens have been subjected to strict prevention measures.

  • According to Crawford, the “tremendous negative impact” these measures have had on kids has been “an afterthought.”

Here are just a few figures that show how kids have been harmed.

1. An alarming rise in obesity.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in September, expected annual weight gain among severely obese kids increased from 8.8 pounds before the pandemic, to 14.6 pounds in August of last year.

2. A mental health crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic further altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said in a statement earlier this month, when he issued an advisory on the youth mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.

3. Learning loss.

In March, a study conducted by Horace Mann Educators found that nearly all K-12 teachers surveyed said the pandemic had led to educational backsliding for students.

  • Other studies have suggested pandemic-related learning setbacks disproportionately affect black, Hispanic and poor children.

4. Masking.

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