From Judith Sandalow <[email protected]>
Subject Top 3 questions - the impact of the pandemic on kids
Date April 7, 2022 3:07 PM
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Highlights from our conversation with Drs. Beers and Grady Last week, I sat down with two leading experts on the pandemic and its impact on children – Dr. Lee Beers, immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and medical director for Community Health and Advocacy at Children’s National Hospital, and Dr. Christine Grady, Chief of NIH Clinical Center’s Department of Bioethics. We covered a lot of ground in just an hour, but their answers to three questions stuck with me. What do we know right now about the impact of the pandemic on children? As Dr. Beers explained, it’s “a complicated picture.” The clearest evidence is that children and adolescents are facing significant mental health challenges as a result of the pandemic. But she noted that some children did benefit from changes in schooling. And the good news is that there is no evidence that masking impedes development for most kids – a big concern for many of us. What is still unknown? Both doctors raised concerns that aren’t frequently discussed. Dr. Beers noted that we don’t know the impact of lifting mask requirements on children with complex health needs who have a right to go to school but whose health may be at greater risk without widespread mask use. Dr. Grady raised another unknown that often is left out of the discussion of health risks to children: disinformation. She explained that while the spread of disinformation about COVID has put kids’ health at risk, it also might harm a child’s critical thinking skills development. Where do we go from here? What can we do? Dr. Beers emphasized that what kids need most right now are safe, supportive, loving relationships with consistent adults. We know that 40% of the kids and families we work with at Children’s Law Center lost loved ones. And many absorbed the anxiety of family members who lost jobs and struggled to make ends meet. Both doctors advocated for transformational change in the support network for kids’ health and safety – particularly the children’s mental health system. They pointed to the importance of centering input from the kids and families most affected by the pandemic and adding resources in the communities and schools where kids and families live, learn and work every day. Dr. Beers and I couldn’t resist talking about our longstanding partnership to do just that and our current effort to convince the DC Council to increase the School-Based Behavioral Health program grants across every DC school. Drs. Beers and Grady bring such nuanced, deep expertise to the complex ethical and public health challenges facing our community and impacting our children. If you couldn’t join us for the conversation, I encourage you to watch the recording. You’ll get to hear directly from Dr. Grady about how she approaches the ethics of requiring or not requiring vaccines. And Dr. Beers shared insightful tips on how to discuss the changing rules around masks and vaccines with kids so they can make choices that keep their family and friends healthy and safe. Watch Recording With gratitude, Judith Sandalow Executive Director P.S. Join us on Wednesday, May 18 at 12pm EDT for our next community conversation: a discussion with Daniel Tsai, Deputy Administrator and Director of Center for Medicaid and CHIP services at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Stay tuned for an invite to register in the coming weeks. Donate Children's Law Center | 501 3rd Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20001 Unsubscribe [email protected] Update Profile | Constant Contact Data Notice Sent by [email protected] powered by Try email marketing for free today!
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