November 16, 2020

CDC: Impact of COVID-19 stress on children’s mental health

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

The number of children’s mental health emergency department (ED) visits decreased sharply from mid-March through early April 2020, coincident with the implementation of community mitigation measures enacted to prevent COVID-19 transmission, and then visits increased steadily through October, this study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds.

Compared with 2019, mental health-related visits for children aged 5 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years increased 24% and 31%, respectively, in October.


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Many mental disorders commence in childhood, and they might be exacerbated by stress related to the pandemic and abrupt disruption to daily life, the authors say. Ongoing collection of a broad range of data is needed to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and the effects of public health emergencies on children’s mental health.

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