How might we ensure the well-being of children in their changing social environment due to the pandemic?
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being | By: Kirk & Kaylee
As both family-oriented individuals with strong connections to children, there was a strong interest in researching the health and well-being of children between K-6 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Childrens’ dependency on individuals and systems has put them in a vulnerable position. Through desk research and subject-matter expert interviews, there was a lot of overlapping data. This mainly came from stakeholders such as home and school for factors related to necessities and social interaction, but also heavily related to healthcare and government.
Depicted in the system map is the connectivity between the four primary categories with the factors related to both positive and negative health and well-being of children to better show and understand the complexity of the system. There are many more factors that are involved, however, the selected ones are what were considered the most critical and encompassing.
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As a long time ‘super uncle’ to an abundance of kids all around the world, and now a new father, I constantly find myself thinking about the great experiences I had while growing up and how this worldwide pandemic may have taken that opportunity away from today’s children. These concerned thoughts have stemmed from the diverse array of challenges presented to me from the children of close friends and family. I am compassionate about portraying the truth through whatever communicable medium is necessary, so as an Information Designer, I felt personally compelled to dig deeper into the adaptive solutions the general public has rapidly produced and identify which of these strategies are considered as genuinely effective towards the well being of all children.
I chose the topic of good health and well-being because health and fitness have always been very important to me and there are so many other factors beyond fitness that do not always get the attention they need. Globally and locally, individuals, especially children, are struggling with many factors that have implications on their mental and physical health that need addressing. I chose to focus on how children of elementary age are impacted because of the vulnerability of their age and because I have elementary-aged brothers. There is also overlap into UN goal 4 of quality education because school plays a large role in children's' time in North America and the pandemic has impacted not only their education but also their health and well-being. Through my research and after conducting interviews with subject matter experts, I was shocked to learn that many children from local schools were no longer able to attend school because they were suffering from insufficient access to food and a safe environment. Initially, I had failed to consider this and it has increased my awareness of how broad the issue is. Good health and well-being are more than just physical activity and eating a proper diet and with continued research, I hope to learn more so I can expose areas that need attention to better the lives of individuals both during the pandemic and after.