New York (AP) – The number of American children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic could be higher than expected, and the number of victims was much higher among blacks and Hispanics. New research suggests.
More than half of the children who have lost their primary caregiver in a pandemic belong to these two racial groups, which make up about 40% of the U.S. population, according to a study released Thursday by the medical journal Pediatrics. paddy field.
“These findings really highlight where pandemics remain most vulnerable and where additional resources should be directed,” said Dr Alexandra Brenkinsop of Imperial College London, one of the study’s authors. Said in a press release.
In the 15 months of the nearly 19-month COVID-19 pandemic, more than 120,000 American children have lost their parents or grandparents, who were important providers of financial support and care. Another 22,000 children suffered the death of a secondary caregiver. For example, grandparents provided housing, but did not meet the child’s other basic needs.
Often, surviving parents and other family members stayed behind to feed these children. However, the researchers used the term “orphanage” in their study to try to estimate how many children’s lives were turned upside down.
Federal statistics on the number of American children in care last year are not yet available. Researchers estimate that COVID-19 has increased the number of orphaned children by 15%.
The figures in the new study are based on statistical modeling estimated using data on fertility, mortality and household composition.
Previous studies by various researchers estimated that as of February 2021, around 40,000 American children had lost their parents to COVID-19.
Previous study author Ashton Verdery said the results of the two studies were consistent. Verdelli and his colleagues focused on a shorter time frame than the new study. The Verdery Group also focused solely on the death of their parents, but the new treaty also captures what happened to caring grandparents.
“Understanding the loss of grandparents is very important,” said Verdelli, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, in an email. “Many children live with their grandparents,” a lifestyle more common among some racial groups.
About 32% of all children who lost their primary caregiver were Hispanic and 26% were black. Hispanics and Black Americans represent a much smaller proportion of the population. Although more than half of the population is white, white children made up 35% of children who lost their primary caregiver.
In some states the difference was much more noticeable. In California, 67% of children who lost their primary caregiver were Hispanic. In Mississippi, 57% of children who lost their primary guardian were black.
The new study calculated on the basis of excess mortality, or mortality greater than that considered typical. Most of those deaths were from the coronavirus, but pandemics have also resulted in more deaths from other causes.
Georgian teenager Kate Kelly lost her 54-year-old father in January. William “Ed” Kelly was having difficulty breathing, and the emergency clinic suspected it was due to COVID-19, she said. However, it turned out that he had a blocked artery and died of a heart attack, leaving Kate, her two sisters and her mother.
In the first month after her death, friends and neighbors brought groceries, donated and were of great support. But then everyone seemed to move on except for Kate and her family.
“It was pretty pointless,” said the third year secondary school student from Lilburn.
The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.
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More than 120,000 American children lost their caregivers during pandemic | WGN 720 radio
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