School Closure and Children in the Outbreak of COVID-19

Donatella Rita Petretto1, *, Ilaria Masala1, Carmelo Masala1 , 2
1 Department of Pedagogy, Philosophy and Psychology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
2 Studio Medico Neuropsicologico Masala Pistis, Piras, 09047Selargius, Italy

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© 2020 Petretto et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pedagogy, Philosophy and Psychology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; Tel: 00390706757501; E-mail:;


School closure and home confinement are two of the measures of lockdown chosen by governments and policymakers all over the world to prevent and limit the spread of the infection of COVID-19. There is still an open debate about the real effect of school closure on the reduction of risk of infection on children and the risk of infection on with other age groups (parents, grandparents and others). There is an agreement on the effect of school closure in reducing and delaying the peak of the outbreak. In this Editorial, starting from the ongoing Italian experience, we discuss direct and indirect effects of school closure on children’s psychological health and learning. We also highlight the need for an “on peace time” planning of measures and strategies necessary to face the direct and indirect effect of this outbreak and other outbreaks, on children’s psychological health.

Keywords: School closure, Distance learning, COVID-19, Outbreak lockdown, Learning disabilities, Psychological consequences.