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How are Canadian kids holding up amid COVID-19? Survey finds worries about missed class

New poll shows how being kept out of schools is impacting Canada’s children
A new Angus Reid poll shows the effect being kept home from school due to the coronavirus is having on children across the country. Most miss their friends and are worried about falling behind. Sarah MacDonald reports.

More than half of Canadian children are concerned about missing school and say not seeing their friends is the thing they miss the most during the COVID-19 crisis, a new survey suggests.

Twenty-nine per cent of kids aged 10 to 17, surveyed by the Angus Reid Institute, said missing class next year has been their biggest worry during the pandemic.

READ MORE: COVID-19 — Small gatherings, elective surgeries to be allowed in B.C. mid-May

Other major concerns were missing school this year (27 per cent), other family getting sick (26 per cent), their parents getting sick (22 per cent) and their parents losing work (20 per cent).

In B.C., children have been out of schools since March 17, when the province suspended in-class instruction indefinitely and moved to online learning in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Now that cases are dropping, some schools in certain districts have slowly begun to reopen.

WATCH: While children have been less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19 they have been vulnerable to the pandemic in many other ways. A new survey by the Angus Reid Institute looks at how kids are coping.

COVID-19’s impact on children
COVID-19’s impact on children

READ MORE: Here’s how B.C. plans to reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic

When asked what word best describes the past several weeks, 71 per cent of kids used the word “bored” while 41 per cent said “normal” and 33 per cent said “lonely.”

The vast majority, 54 per cent, said they missed seeing their friends the most while staying at home, followed by extra-curricular activities (16 per cent), being able to go out without worrying (11 per cent) and going to school (eight per cent).

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A quarter of respondents (26 per cent) said their friendships have deteriorated during the pandemic.

How to talk to your kids about COVID-19
How to talk to your kids about COVID-19

Among those learning online, most (75 per cent) said they feel they’re keeping up, but 57 per cent said they don’t like it.

So how do they feel about going back? The response was mostly divided: 26 per cent are happy about it, 38 per cent said it’s OK and 36 per cent they are not looking forward to it.

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Note: The survey was conducted from May 1 to 4 and involved a representative randomized sample of 650 Canadian children. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by the Angus Reid Institute.

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