As a pediatrician in South L.A., I have cared for many children who were victims of gun violence. Most have recovered, some have lingering psychological trauma and a few have died. When I stop to reflect, it’s always incomprehensible—why are guns a part of children’s lives?
Author: ChrisAnna Mink
When I first met Daniel, he was 2 months old. His aunt, Sandra, brought him to the clinic in South Los Angeles where I work as a pediatrician because he had persistent coughing.
While I was examining his lungs, he coughed so hard that he vomited in my hair. I was worried that he might have whooping cough and I started asking more about his history.
First question: Why was he with his aunt and not his parents?
Sandra told me that U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, known as ICE, had detained both of Daniel’s parents in June after a domestic violence event that occurred in public.
CHIP has historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support, but that’s no longer the case. Without an extension by Sept. 30, millions of children may lose their access to health care, including children in California. The state will be out of money by March 2018 if the program isn’t renewed at the federal level.
Emergency rooms are chaotic, noisy and not staffed to care for children with acute mental health needs. Yet, every year nearly 13% of ER visits are due to mental health disorders – more than any other type of illness.