(NewsNation Now) — A new study estimates nearly 40,000 children have lost a parent to COVID-19.
The study, which was published in JAMA Pediatrics, calculated that 37,300 children, between ages 0-17, lost at least 1 parent from coronavirus as of February 2021. When their modeling accounted for any coronavirus deaths not included in official totals, the number rose to 43,000 children.
Nearly 75% of those children who lost a parent were adolescents.
The study also broke down the number impacted by race and concluded about 20% of black children had a parent die from coronavirus.
Researchers utilized CDC data on COVID-19 mortality as well as modeling multipliers to determine how many children were impacted by a parent’s death compared to the average year. They factored in the figures for parental relationships between different racial demographics to determine the impact by race.
The study does not include parental-like figures who also passed during the pandemic but were not directly a child’s guardian.
The article notes, “Children who lose a parent are at elevated risk of traumatic grief, depression, poor educational outcomes, and unintentional death or suicide, and these consequences can continue into adulthood. Sudden parental death, such as that occurring owing to COVID-19 can be particularly traumatizing for children and leave families ill prepared to navigate its consequences.”
The study calls for national reforms to address financial and emotional impact towards the children who lost a parent from coronavirus. It specifically advocates for a national child bereavement cohort to work with kids impacted by a parent death during the pandemic.