Over 140,000 U.S. Children Have Lost a Caregiver to COVID-19

THURSDAY, Oct. 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) — It’s a shocking statistic: One in four deaths from COVID-19 in the United States leaves a child without a parent or other caregiver, researchers report.

Data analysis shows that from April 2020 to July 2021, more than 120,000 children under the age of 18 lost a primary caregiver (a parent or grandparent who provided housing, basic needs and care), and nearly 22,000 secondary caregiver (grandparents) who provided housing , but not most basic needs).

“Children facing orphans as a result of Covid is a hidden global epidemic that unfortunately has not spared the United States,” study author Susan Hillis, a researcher with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news release for the US National Institutes of Health. .

Overall, about 1 in 500 children in the United States are orphans or have lost a grandparent from a caregiver due to COVID-19, according to the study published October 7 in the journal. Pediatrics.

Racial and ethnic minority children account for 65% of young adults who have lost a primary caregiver due to COVID-19, compared to 35% of white children, even though whites represent 61% of the US population, and people from racial and ethnic minorities account for 39% of population.

Orphaned or a primary caregiver died of COVID-19: 1 in 168 American Indian/Alaska Native children, 1 in 310 black children, 1 in 412 Hispanic children, 1 in 612 Asian children, and 1 in 753 children is white.

Compared to white children, American Indian/Alaska Native children were 4.5 times more likely to lose a parent or grandparent, black children were 2.4 times more likely, and Hispanic children 1.8 times.

Densely populated states — California, Texas and New York — had the highest total number of children who lost primary caregivers to COVID-19.

The researchers also found significant racial/ethnic differences between countries.

In New Mexico, Texas, and California, 49% to 67% of children who lost their primary caregiver were Hispanic. In Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, 45% to 57% of children who lost a primary caregiver were black. American Indian/Alaska Native children who lost a primary care provider were most common in South Dakota (55%), New Mexico (39%), Montana (38%), Oklahoma (23%), and Arizona (18%).