Here’s How CDC Data Can Help Children and Teens
The National Syndromic Surveillance Program’s (NSSP) collaborative efforts to assess the health and well-being of children and teens during the pandemic have several implications for public health. These implications are summarized in two February 2022 reports published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.1,2 Taken together, these reports show the importance of early and increased awareness for health concerns that could arise due to delayed medical care and heightened emotional distress during the pandemic, especially among children and teens.
Studies show the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the ongoing children’s mental health crisis.3 NSSP data emergency department (ED) data, which are collected from EDs when people seek care, have considerable utility for early identification and expanded evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. Medical professionals, parents and caregivers, educators, and others who work with children and teens can use these data to help identify symptoms of behavioral and psychosocial concerns and unhealthy coping behaviors that might need further intervention.
In the long term, systemic changes that increase access to available tools and mental health services can also improve emotional well-being during and after crises. CDC supports efforts to promote the emotional well-being of children and teens, such as providing resources for clinicians, families, schools, and communities on the CDC website.
1.Pediatric Emergency Department Visits Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January 2019–January 2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
2. Pediatric Emergency Department Visits Associated with Mental Health Conditions Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January 2019–January 2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
3. Mental Health Surveillance Among Children — United States, 2013–2019 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
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