Impact on Child Health

COVID-19 is not a benign disease in children. It has had a significant impact on children’s health as outlined below:

  • Over 13 million children have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic’s onset.
  • More than 42,000 children have been hospitalized. 
  • At least 1,240 children aged 18 and younger have died. 
  • Over 8,000 patients met the case definition for multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, and that there have been 68 deaths among these patients.  
  • Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection had 16-18 times higher risk for myocarditis compared with patients without SARS-CoV-2.  
  • Researchers found that hospitalizations associated with COVID-19 were higher than influenza-related hospitalizations in the three years prior to the pandemic.
  • Studies show that children and adolescents aged 18 years and younger with COVID-19 were more likely to receive a new diabetes diagnosis.
  • Recent studies show that around 2% of children experience Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 and symptoms that persist beyond 56 days.
  • Compared with 2019, the proportion of mental health-related visits to the emergency room for children aged 5–11 and 12–17 years increased approximately 24% and 31%, respectively.
  • Between April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, over 140,000 children in the US experienced the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver. The risk of such loss was 1.1 to 4.5 times higher among children of racial and ethnic minorities, compared to Non-Hispanic White children.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in drops in academic achievement for K-12 students, with ongoing decreases in performance in both math and reading compared to pre-pandemic levels. Academic progress for students of color appears to be disproportionately impacted.

COVID-19 Vaccine Data

Additional Information

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics