The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) expresses dismay following the release of the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on SARS-CoV-2-Associated Deaths Among Persons Aged <21 Years. This report highlights the significant and disproportionate impact of this illness on persons of color. Although symptoms associated with COVID-19 are typically milder in children than adults and overall mortality is relatively low, this report reveals alarming trends of disparities among pediatric COVID-19 fatalities.
The most comprehensive official accounting thus far of pediatric infections and fatalities in the U.S., the CDC report documents 391,814 known cases and 121 deaths among people under the age of 21 from February to July, 2020. More than 75% of the reported child deaths are Hispanic, Black, and American Indian children, even though these groups represent only 41% of the U.S. population under 21 years of age, echoing disparities among adults. These multifactorial disparities are unacceptable and must continue to be addressed by pediatric health care providers nationwide.
As experts in pediatrics and advocates for children, NAPNAP is committed to equipping health care providers with education and resources to positively impact health outcomes for children while advocating for child health equity. We believe every child deserves fairness, justice and equitable opportunities for optimal health outcomes. NAPNAP is committed to advocating delivery of high-quality, accessible, affordable, evidence-based health care to all children regardless of their socioeconomic background, race, citizenship status or sexual orientation. Our Child Health Equity resource page outlines the actions NAPNAP is taking to equip pediatric advanced practice registered nurses and other stakeholders to apply a holistic approach to address social determinants of health and positively impact child health inequities.