US Children's Mental Health Crisis Worse during COVID-19: CDC Studies

US Children's Mental Health Crisis Worse during COVID-19: CDC Studies

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – American children's mental health crisis has gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two new studies published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.

Both studies examined pediatric emergency department (ED) visits data from 2019 through January 2022.

One study showed COVID-19-related ED visits increased across all pandemic years and among pediatric age groups, Xinhua news agency reported.

There were also increases in the weekly number and proportion of ED visits for certain types of injuries, some chronic diseases, and visits related to behavioral health concerns, especially among children aged from 5 to 17.

The other study showed that adolescent females may have experienced the largest overall increase in distress. During the pandemic, the proportion of ED visits for eating disorders doubled and tic disorders more than tripled in this group.

Adolescent females also visited the ED more often, for an increasingly wider variety of mental health conditions. Such conditions can be triggered by pandemic-related risk factors and made worse by pandemic-related reduced access to mental health care, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends increased awareness for health concerns among children and adolescents that could arise due to delayed medical care and heightened emotional distress.

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