By forming regional coalitions, pediatricians and public health authorities can work together more closely to meet children’s unique needs during a natural or man-made disaster.
In a recent CDC Grand Rounds report, investigators noted that children often have special physiologic, developmental, and social needs that require attention in emergency planning and response (Hinton CF et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64:972-974). School-aged children, for example, had higher infection and death rates than adults during the 2009 influenza H1N1 pandemic, and children were more likely to develop thyroid cancer after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion. Adolescents who were affected by the 9/11 attacks had greater psychological problems than did adults.
Meeting Children’s Needs During Public Health Emergencies. JAMA. 2015;314(16):1685. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13335