children’s health

Woman grieving over school shooting

Gun deaths drive historic spike in U.S. child mortality rates

BY: and - April 25, 2023

This story was first published by Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts. After decades of steady improvement, the death rate of America’s children and teens shot up between 2019 and 2021 — and COVID-19 wasn’t the reason. Gun-related deaths represented the largest share of the increase — by far. According to an analysis of the […]

NC Child Health Policy Director Kaylan Szafranski discusses the 2023 Children’s Health Report Card

BY: - April 18, 2023

Read this year’s report card. One of the most important and worrisome impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath has been the hugely negative impact on the mental health of our nation’s youth. Recently, the children’s advocacy group NC Child partnered with the North Carolina Institute of Medicine to prepare and release a 2023 […]

New NC Child health report card focuses on mental health concerns

BY: - April 4, 2023

This year’s NC Child Health Report Card includes a special focus on mental health and adds another document highlighting increased youth suicide rates. NC Child and the NC Institute of Medicine publish the report card every two years.  With the percentage of children with health insurance inching up slightly to 94.5% since the last report, […]

NC Child director Erica Palmer Smith discusses Medicaid expansion, improving children’s well-being

BY: - April 3, 2023

NC Child executive director Erica Palmer Smith explains why the decision of Republican legislative leaders to finally embrace Medicaid expansion was the result of years of determined advocacy.

Kaylan Szafranski of NC Child talks about the schoolchildren facing mental health challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic

BY: - October 31, 2022

This an encore posting of an interview first broadcast in August of this year.

FDA greenlights emergency use of COVID vaccines for kids under 5

BY: - June 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5, moving the country one step closer to having shots for all age groups. The decision leaves just one hurdle, a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before parents can begin getting […]

FDA outside advisers recommend Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines for kids under 5

BY: - June 16, 2022

Shots could be available as soon as next week WASHINGTON — Parents of children under 5 are one step closer to vaccinating their young kids against COVID-19 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s outside vaccine panel recommended emergency use authorizations of two COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday. The 21-person Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee […]

Virginia health providers: “Kids are completely excited about getting a shot.”

BY: - November 12, 2021

Editor’s note: Earlier this week, Policy Watch reported on North Carolina’s progress in administering 24,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 5 to 11. Our neighbors to the north report nearly 5 percent of Virginia’s 5 to 11-year-olds have gotten their first doses and officials are hoping for continued demand. The Virginia Mercury’s […]

Increased demand for COVID-19 testing swamps NC pediatricians

BY: - September 30, 2021

The medical team at Goldsboro Pediatrics sees a steady stream of patients from 8 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, their appointment schedules swelled by parents seeking COVID-19 tests for their children.   Slots for the walk-in hour of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. are usually filled by 8:30, said Dr. Teague Horton, a partner in the practice.

Monday numbers: A closer look at child injury and fatality trends

BY: - September 27, 2021

NC experienced a big spike in child firearm deaths in 2020 While parents and health care providers have been laser focused on the pandemic this year, members of the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force (CFTF) offered some sobering numbers last week about overall child injury trends.

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing and causing lasting harm to children

BY: - September 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.


My daughter is enrolled in Pfizer’s vaccine trial because I don’t trust COVID

BY: - July 21, 2021

On a sunny Wednesday a little over a month ago, my 7-year-old daughter bravely held my hand as we walked into Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to participate in a pediatric vaccine trial.  After a numbing agent, a blood draw and a nasal swab, she was finally injected with either a placebo or the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.