THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For children and adolescents, the number and proportion of weekly emergency department visits for mental health and behavioral conditions is higher during the academic year, according to research published in the Sept. 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Lakshmi Radhakrishnan, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined emergency department visit data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program for 25 distinct conditions during January 2018 to June 2023 among U.S. children aged 5 to 17 years.
The researchers found that among children aged 10 to 14 and 15 to 17 years, there was an increase in the number and proportion of weekly emergency department visits for eight conditions in the fall school semester each year during 2018 to 2023, which remained elevated throughout the spring semester. Compared with the summer period, emergency department visits were up to twice as high during school semesters. Increases in the number and proportion of visits were seen for five mental and behavioral health conditions among children aged 5 to 9 years.
“Parents and caregivers, educators, health care providers, and others who regularly interact with children and adolescents can learn about signs and symptoms of mental distress and monitor children and adolescents for possible increases in mental distress in the weeks leading up to and during the academic year,” the authors write.
Copyright © 2023 HealthDay. All rights reserved.