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The scale of COVID-19 mortality in the United States, including among prime-age adults, merits efforts to continuously track how many children are affected by parental death. 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 persist into adulthood.1 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. Moreover, COVID-19 losses are occurring at a time of social isolation, institutional strain, and economic hardship, potentially leaving bereaved children without the supports they need.
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Kidman R, Margolis R, Smith-Greenaway E, Verdery AM. Estimates and Projections of COVID-19 and Parental Death in the US. JAMA Pediatr. Published online April 05, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0161
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