Covid Has Thrown Off Bedtime Routines. Here's How To Get Back On Track
For almost a year now, the pandemic has eroded many families’ sleep routines. Bedtimes have crept later and later, kids have gotten in the habit of crawling into their parents’ beds, and sleep physicians report their offices (or online appointments) are filled with anxious children who can’t fall asleep. All of this falls hard on parents who get precious few hours alone in the evening to take a breath. Or cram in work. Or both. If bedtimes have come completely off the rails in your own home, here’s how to get back to some level of control. Re-establish a routine that you stick to — every single night.
A study of 1,142 parents with disabled children found 48 percent also said their youngsters' different needs has stopped them coming together as a family. And 58 percent have become more lonely or isolated as a result of the pandemic. But while 87 percent said the past year has affected their mealtimes in a negative way, of the 1,000 parents of children with no disabilities who were also polled, just 45 per cent said the same.
It also emerged that parents raising disabled children have been hardest hit financially, with 47 percent not paying household bills in order to afford food.
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Honest Henry Fraser believes the coronavirus pandemic has propelled his platform as a spokesperson for disabled people to new heights. Fraser, who has been paralysed from the shoulders down since the age of 17, has built up a considerable following with his mouth paintings of famous sports stars and wildlife. The brother of former Saracens flanker Will Fraser, the 28-year-old has over 100,000 followers on Twitter, had exhibitions for his artwork and also published two books.Fraser has been shielding since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and has left his house just three times since March.
Two fifths (42 percent) have also skipped or cut down the size of their meals, while 31 percent had to turn to a food bank.
However, the number of mums and dads without seriously ill children who have reduced the amount they eat drops to one in 10, and one in 20 have had to use a food bank.
The 'Mealtimes for All' study was commissioned by McCain in partnership with Family Fund, as part of its wider Nation's Conversations research series, and explores some of the barriers to family life experienced by those raising disabled and seriously ill children.
It also found more than one in 20 parents (seven percent) have gone without food for a whole day because there wasn't enough money, but this rises to a fifth of parents with seriously ill children.
I Almost Dropped Out Because My Student Halls Were Inadequate
In 2008 we bailed out the banks. We now face the biggest financial crisis in a generation, with record youth unemployment. Who will bail out young people? R29 and Vice are joining the National Union of Students to call for all students to be offered rent rebates and asking the government to bring back maintenance grants for students from low income backgrounds. It’s well known that rent prices for university halls have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2018, the National Union of Students found that the average price of student accommodation in the UK had jumped by nearly a third in just six years.
And 66 percent of parents with disabled children had to pay more for the weekly shop during the pandemic - more than double those without seriously ill children (24 percent).
Mum-of-three Christine McGuiness said: "As a mum of three amazing children with autism, I understand the additional challenges faced by many families across the country raising disabled or seriously ill children.
"While me and my husband have embraced more time with our children over the last year, there is no doubt we've faced our share of struggles and tougher moments too, which makes those quality moments together, like mealtimes, all the more important."
Kirsty Waite, whose daughter Heidi has Cerebral palsy, said: "The extra support that Family Fund has given to our family, such as providing an iPad to help my daughter Heidi, who has Cerebral Palsy, with her schoolwork, has been invaluable.
Nearly nine in 10 parents with seriously ill or disabled children say the pandemic has had a negative impact on mealtime routines
Nearly nine in 10 parents with seriously ill or disabled children say the pandemic has had a negative impact on mealtime routinesA study of 1,142 parents with disabled children found 48 per cent also said their youngsters’ different needs has stopped them coming together as a family.
"It has freed-up time for my husband and me to focus on things that help us spend more quality time together, such as preparing family meals."
The study also found 43 percent of households with disabled or seriously ill children spend less than an hour of quality time together each day, compared to only 38 per cent of other families.
During the typical week, 82 percent of families without disabled children, polled via OnePoll, sit down for a meal together on three or more days, but this drops to 64 per cent for those raising seriously ill youngsters.
More than two in five (42 percent) of those with disabled children said caring for their child impacts the quality time they all have together, as does venues and activities not being accessible or appropriate for them (37 percent).
A fifth also said their partner's long working hours is to blame, while 45 percent spend evenings and weekends keeping up with household chores.
But barriers to enjoying more time together for those households without disabled children include mums and dads working long hours (22 percent) and kids playing computer games (27 percent).
Chernobyl's liquidators didn’t pass on radiation damage to their children
Exposure to Chernobyl radiation increased the risk of thyroid cancer by breaking DNA strands, but the effects didn't carry to the next generation.The new research is a step forward in understanding the mechanisms that drive human thyroid cancer, said Stephen Chanock, the director of the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the senior author on both research papers. It's also reassuring for those exposed to radiation in events such as the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster and who plan to start families, Chanock told Live Science.
One in five also blamed it on spending evenings and weekends catching up with chores.
For the average family, time together has increased during the pandemic (40 percent), but 56 percent of those with disabled children said it has decreased.
A sixth of parents without disabled children also said a sense of belonging in their neighbourhood has grown during lockdown, but less than a tenth of mums and dads of seriously ill children agree.
And parents raising disabled children are less likely to think of themselves as similar to others in their neighbourhoods - 30 percent compared to 46 percent.
Worryingly, 76 percent of parents raising disabled children feel the pandemic has worsened the health and wellbeing of their child.
McCain has pledged £1m that will help Family Fund support 150,000 families with disabled or seriously ill children.
Mark Hodge at McCain, said: "The new 'Mealtimes For All' research has shown us that even against the backdrop of the pandemic where we've been spending more time together, for some families the crisis has had a disproportionately negative effect.
"Through our partnership with Family Fund, we want to highlight the great work they do in providing the resources for families to enjoy the small things in life, as well as highlight the little moments they treasure, that many of us take for granted."
Cheryl Ward, Chief Executive of Family Fund, added: "This last year has been tough on everyone, but we know it has particularly put enormous financial and emotional pressure on families we work with - those who are living on low incomes raising a disabled or seriously ill child.
"This report highlights how even simply spending time together has been made more difficult by the pandemic as parents and carers have dealt with new challenges every day."
Panic attacks highlight stress at shelters for migrant kids .
Paramedics were called regularly to treat children suffering from panic attacks so severe their hands would constrict into balls and their bodies would shake. The outbursts often occurred after other children were taken away to be reunited with families, dashing the hopes of those left behind at the largest emergency shelter set up by the Biden administration to hold minors who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone. The conditions describedThe conditions described by a federal volunteer who spent two weeks in May at the shelter at Fort Bliss Army Base in El Paso, Texas, highlight the desperation and stress of thousands of children held at unlicensed facilities, waiting to reunite with relatives.