News & Events

What Parents of Babies and Toddlers Need Right Now

After months of various forms of quarantine and social distancing, families are stressed to the max. Those with babies and toddlers may be hurting the most due to younger children’s need for intensive caregiving. Moms, dads, and other caregivers are being asked to hold their fingers in the dam, and it’s threatening to burst.

Child care stress, hunger harming U.S. families during pandemic

With everyday life turned upside down, efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are taking a toll on the well-being and health of American families, a new poll reveals. More than 1,000 parents nationwide were surveyed in early June. "Without question, COVID-19 had a sudden and profound effect on families nationwide," said survey leader Dr. Stephen Patrick. He's director of the Center for Child Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

Pandemic Takes Toll on Family Mental Health

As COVID-19 infections ravaged the country from March to June, parent and child well-being felt the ripple effects, according to a national survey. Among 1,011 parents who responded to the survey, 26.9% said their mental health had worsened, 14.3% said their children's behavioral health had declined, and 9.6% said both their mental health and their children's behavioral health had slumped, reported Stephen W. Patrick, MD, MPH, of the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy in Nashville, and colleagues.

Vanderbilt Study Finds 1.5 Million More Kids Are Going Hungry Because Of The Pandemic

The pandemic’s ripple effects have meant 1.5 million more kids are going hungry, according to a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics. The polling data puts numbers to a food insecurity problem that has been occurring out of sight. The study is based on national polling of parents with kids under 18. And roughly 2% said that since March, they have become unable to afford all the food they need.

CDC urge in-person learning, but offers little guidance for sick students or teachers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday released a long-awaited update to guidelines for getting children back into the classroom this fall, but it left many details of how to do so safely up to officials at the local level. "Let the individual jurisdictions see how the different strategies that we've put out can be best employed," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said during a call with reporters Friday.

CDC urges in-person learning, but offers little guidance for sick students or teachers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday released a long-awaited update to guidelines for getting children back into the classroom this fall, but it left many details of how to do so safely up to officials at the local level.

Study reveals inadequate Hepatitis C testing among Tennessee infants

A recent study by researchers at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy found that in Tennessee, most infants exposed to hepatitis C virus at the time of birth are not tested later to see if they acquired the virus. Over the past few years, hepatitis C virus rates among pregnant women have grown substantially—likely a consequence of the country’s opioid crisis. The increase has largely gone unnoticed.

Mothers, Babies Overlooked in the Drug Crisis

Pregnant women who are addicted to opioids often struggle to access treatment and services, and their challenges have received relatively little attention despite being a targeted group in the nation's response to the opioid epidemic. Now, doctors say the emerging problem of polysubstance use – when people use more than one type of drug, such as opioids and methamphetamine – is being overlooked among pregnant women, with unknown long-term consequences for mothers and babies alike.

Tennessee Receives Grant from Federal Government to Address Opioid Crisis

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that Tennessee is one of 10 states to receive the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Model grant. The purpose of this Model is to assist states in combating the nation’s opioid crisis and address fragmentation in the care of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid beneficiaries with opioid use disorder (OUD).