Study: Parents’ biggest health concern for their children in 2020 is not what you may think

Think COVID-19 was parents’ biggest fear for their children’s health in 2020? Think again.

According to a national poll from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 72 percent of U.S. parents say their biggest health concern for their children this year is the overuse of social media.

The top three concerns of parents are all screen time-related: number two is bullying/cyberbullying, and number three is internet safety.

“This is an especially challenging time for families, with many children experiencing significant changes in routine that may negatively impact their health and wellbeing,” says Mott Poll co-director and pediatrician Gary Freed in a press release.

“Parents’ biggest concerns for young people seem to be associated with changes in lifestyle as a result of the pandemic,” he added. “COVID-19 has turned the world of our children and teens upside down in many ways and this is reflected in how parents rate health issues in 2020.”

COVID-19 actually comes in at number 10 on the list of concerns, following unhealthy eating at number four, depression/suicide at number five, lack of physical activity at number six, stress/anxiety at number seven, smoking/vaping at number eight, and drinking or using drugs at number nine.