children with special health care needs

Analysis: The Vaccine Is a Health Equity Issue for Kids Like My Son

The COVID vaccine for children is safe and effective, and it’s the best way to protect not only children but also the larger community.

Was I concerned about the risks of the vaccine? No. COVID is a far greater threat to my son, who has to go to the ICU when exposed to the kind of germs that give healthy kids the sniffles. The vaccination also benefits my healthy daughter, who won’t have her schooling interrupted by quarantines.

Striving to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Children with Physical Health Conditions

Research shows children with chronic illnesses are at least twice as likely as healthy children to develop a mental health disorder. They’re at higher risk for neglect and abuse. Their caregivers and siblings are also at increased risk for mental distress.

Yet there are few mental health treatment programs that cater to the needs of these children and their families. The MEND program at Loma Linda University is an exception.

For Children with Disabilities, Climate Change Brings Multiple Threats

Climate change is a growing threat to people with disabilities. Not only is the weather getting hotter, but Californians are facing more frequent wildfires, poor air quality, evacuations and power outages. These events are particularly difficult to navigate for people with complex medical conditions and those who care for them.

Yet, researchers and policymakers have historically overlooked this vulnerable population when it comes to emergency planning.

Growing Up is Hard, Especially for People with Disabilities

For young adults with serious disabilities, the transition to adulthood is filled with challenges. In interviews with the California Health Report, young people and their families described the difficulties and triumphs they’ve experienced during this phase of life.

Overall, young adults with disabilities, their parents and advocates said too many families don’t know what to expect, or how to get the services they need. Health officials, regional centers, and school districts need to foster more awareness about what it’s like for these youth to transition to adulthood, they said.

Analysis: Care for Children with Disabilities Is Infrastructure, Too. Let’s Invest in it.

As federal and state policy makers make plans for infrastructure and budgetary spending, let’s not forget to invest in the infrastructure of care too, particularly for children with disabilities.

The framework of support that makes it possible for families to care for children with complex care needs safely, in their own homes and in their local school systems, is part of our infrastructure of care.

Some Kids in Long-Term Care Facilities Didn’t See Parents for More Than a Year

Throughout the pandemic, medically fragile children in California’s pediatric long-term care facilities and their parents have endured drastic limits on their ability to see and interact with each other. Some locations barred parents and other caregivers from visiting their children in person for over a year, citing virus safety precautions.

Advocates and parents said they’re concerned that visitation policies at pediatric subacute units during the pandemic may have caused long-term harm to kids.

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