Parental apprehensions on the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the first week of the COVID-19 pandemic in South India


Prahlad Kadambi, R. S. Pawaskar, L. Sushanth Prabhath Reddy, S. C. Nivedhidha, M. Balagopal

Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been responsible for the loss of numerous lives worldwide. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11th March 2020. Children have been affected by COVID-19 through the disruption of their daily routine because of the inevitable measures to prevent disease transmission. Social media has played a role in spreading awareness, rumors, and myths regarding COVID-19 causing parental apprehensions. This study aimed to study the knowledge, attitude, practices, and apprehensions of parents of children aged ≤12 years toward COVID-19 in South India. Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted on the parents of children aged ≤12 years using Google Forms containing 9 sociodemographic, 10 knowledge, 6 attitude, and 4 questions related to concerns among 1,107 participants from South India. Results: Overall, 98.4% of parents were aware of COVID-19 etiology, transmission, risk factors, signs, and symptoms. About 23.7% of parents were against allowing their children to play despite the use of personal protective measures. Nearly 84.6% of parents said that social media influenced their opinion regarding COVID-19. Approximately 85.6% of parents were afraid that their children were at risk of COVID-19. About 65% of parents are willing to voluntarily vaccinate their child when a vaccine is developed, whereas another 33.2% of parents are willing to do so based on the cost of the vaccine. Conclusions: The majority of the parents are concerned regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. These concerns are accentuated by the role of social media. The parents are willing for voluntary vaccination as and when developed.