Focus on Families to Improve Child Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Focus on Families to Improve Child Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Background

Policies such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Vaccines for Children Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention help millions of children access recommended healthcare and reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

While children gained access to healthcare from these programs, the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant threat. Healthy children have lower risk of morbidity and mortality than older people do, but the pandemic is having severe indirect effects on children.

Studies demonstrate that parent health is associated with the health and well-being of children. This article advocates for interventions to help all members of the family during the pandemic. For example, conducting family telemedicine visits or in-person visits to provide recommended care to all family members at once, improving ways to share health information across service providers of all family members, and screening for family-level social determinants of health. 

Bottom Line

Family-centered healthcare strategies could provide solutions to address declining health and increasing health inequities experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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