Verywell Family: The Difficulties of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Children with Disabilities
By LaKeisha Fleming
While much has been written about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the general public, little has focused on the disruption to the lives of children with disabilities. Articles published in the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine address this often-overlooked topic.
Children with disabilities have struggled to receive necessary care, even more than the general public during this difficult time. They have dealt with inaccessibility to needed healthcare and therapy.
They've also dealt with emotional and mental stress. Understanding the toll of the pandemic lockdown on these children and their families is key, as well as looking for beneficial solutions.
Questions about the reach and enormity of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged as quickly as the virus itself. Experts looked at the impact of the virus on various facets of society. Patients in pediatric rehabilitation were initially overlooked. By examining personal experiences with statistical data, experts exposed the risks these children face.
“Some children have significant functional and motor impairments that would make their respiratory system increasingly susceptible to an infection in this area. (They) may not be able to cough with the same force, or may not have the same lung health as individuals without cerebral palsy," says Matthew McLaughlin, MD, MS, assistant professor of pediatrics at Children’s Mercy-Kansas City.
According to the CDC, “Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all.” But it can become a case of life or death for some children with disabilities.
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Learn more about Rehabilitation Medicine at Children's Mercy