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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Long-term structural investments beginning in pregnancy and extending through early childhood will pay societal dividends for generations to come. Settlements from the lawsuits filed against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and prescribers should preferentially invest in pregnant women and infants prenatally, at birth, and throughout the first year.
In November, a California woman who gave birth to a stillborn baby and admitted to using methamphetamine while she was pregnant was charged with murder. The case touched a nerve, igniting a debate over whether mothers should be held accountable for their drug use or treated with compassion for their addictions.