More than one in 3 boys, 35.7%, chat, surf social media, watch videos or TV series online after midnight “And he does it out of boredom, loneliness, sadness but also out of a simple lack of tiredness, often without the family knowing” and with consequences that could then weigh on psycho-physical development.
These are the results of a survey conducted by Professor Maria Serena among 367 students of the “Da Collo” high school in Conegliano and which inspired the Ars Medica Foundation, the cultural operational arm of the Venetian Order of Doctors, to organize the first conference in the presence for over a year and a half entitled “Wake up at night: vamping in the post-Covid socio-technological leap” , which took place, in full compliance with the anti Covid regulations, on 24 September last at the Rama Pavilion of the Ospedale dell’Angelo in Mestre.
In the spotlight are boys and teenagers, in fact forgotten during the pandemic, and a phenomenon, vamping, not new in reality, but that the isolation due to the lockdown and the DAD, is bringing out in a worrying way. Boys, apparently many, who stay awake at night glued to the web: a phenomenon of a devious nature, as explained by Dr. Emanuela Malorgio, pediatrician expert in sleep disorders. “We realize it – he said – when they come to the observation of the operators for the effects of sleep deprivation: fatigue, generalized malaise, drop in academic performance, altered appetite, up to mood disorders, aggression, abuse of drugs and exciting substances ». A problem that for some adolescents begins to take on the profile of a real addiction and which is likely to grow in the coming years. It will therefore be necessary to equip oneself on the territory “with adequate treatment methods and spaces, also given the age of the subjects involved”, as the specialists of the Dependency Services (SERD) of Ulss 3 Serenissima and Ulss 4 Eastern Veneto have underlined Silvia Faggian and Diego Saccon.
Many risk factors identified by the experts: individual vulnerability, the family context, which today has profoundly changed, the social one, which requires more and more “performing” children, and the absence of aggregative moments, also due to the pandemic. What answers, then, can be given? First step: to recall families to their educational responsibility, “to avoid collusion with their children as parents for fear of conflict” explained the doctor and psychotherapist Marco Ballico, recalling how the family is the first relational laboratory experienced. It is also essential to intervene on the parents of the little ones, educating them to a responsible use of devices. “We are the first example – underlined the infantile neuropsychiatry Elisabetta Baioni and Ambra Cappellari – we cannot ask our children to give up their mobile phones at night if we keep it on the bedside table”. Finally, it is important to build a network on the territory between families, operators, doctors and teachers to identify the signs of sleep deprivation early and bring out the problem. And to help in this direction could be the Piazza della Salute project of ENPAM (the social security institution of white coats), presented by Laura Petri, to study the phenomenon in the territories, extending the questionnaire to as many schools as possible, to organize awareness-raising initiatives and training expert operators on the subject.
About a hundred people present at the conference. Also in the room the possible doctors of tomorrow: many students of the Liceo Majorana-Corner in Mirano, engaged in the strengthening-orientation path of Biology with biomedical curvature, illustrated by the contact person for the Order, Luca Barbacane, family doctor in Martellago.