Succumbed at twice rate of White children
A new study highlights racial inequities among children during the pandemic, when Black children were hospitalized and died at more than twice the rate of White children.
“Children with COVID-19 in communities of color were sicker, hospitalized and died at higher rates than White children,” said Sandra Harris-Hooker of the Morehouse School of Medicine, one of the historically Black organizations that participated in the study commissioned by the Black Coalition Against COVID.
Misinformation and mistrust about COVID safety protocols and vaccines played key roles in the disparities, reports Donovan J. Thomas at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The report also pointed to the effects of social factors such as poverty and housing insecurity that rose for Black and Latino families during the pandemic.
Children of color have also been subject to higher rates of covid and long-term symptoms, more likely to lose a primary caregiver, and suffered deep learning gaps.
Another new study reports that sudden unexpected infant deaths rose among non-Hispanic Black babies during the first pandemic year, to nearly triple the rate among non-Hispanic White babies in 2020.
The deaths, reported by a CDC team in the Journal of Pediatrics, included sudden infant death syndrome as well as accidental suffocation and other unknown causes.
The authors characterized the findings as preliminary, and said they weren’t sure what factors were behind the changes.
But a commentary in the journal by other physicians pointed to a variety of possible causes, including poverty, lack of access to health care and less education about safe sleep practices and breastfeeding.
They also noted that during the pandemic, resources such as doctors’ offices and programs that support families cut back on in-person care, which may have limited support to Black families.
“If you don’t have a safe place for your baby to sleep, how are you going to have them sleep safely?” commentary author Dr. Rebecca Carlin, a pediatrician with Columbia University, pointed out.