Black, Hispanic Children At Higher Risk For Hospitalization Due To COVID-19, CDC Says

by Julie Scagell
Hispanic, Black children hospitalization COVID CDC
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC study comes as schools decide on fall reopening plans

As research continues to come out about the impacts of the coronavirus on various groups, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found Hispanic and Black children are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than white children.

The report, released yesterday, said Hispanic children are approximately eight-times more likely than white children to be hospitalized with COVID-related symptoms. Black children are five-times more likely. Researchers used data from 14 states, including California, Georgia, New York, and Ohio, from March 1 through July 25 to get a picture of how the disease presents itself in children under 18.

“Among 526 children for whom race and ethnicity information were reported, 241 (45.8 percent) were Hispanic, 156 (29.7 percent) were black, 74 (14.1 percent) were white; 24 (4.6 percent) were non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander; and four (0.8 percent) were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native,” the report states.

While serious complications remain low in children versus the rest of the population, Black and Hispanic children are far more likely to have serious enough symptoms to require hospitalization, the Washington Post reports. While 164.5 adults per 100,000 were hospitalized with COVID-19 from March to July, only eight children per 100,000 suffered the same. The median patient age was 8 years old and 42 percent of those had preexisting conditions, with obesity being cited as the most prevalent underlying medical condition.

Though children requiring hospitalization remains rare, about one in three hospitalized children ended up in intensive care units — roughly the same rate as hospitalized adults.

“These data will help to better define the clinical spectrum of disease in children and the contributions of race and ethnicity and underlying medical conditions to hospitalizations and outcomes,” the report said. “Reasons for disparities in COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates by race and ethnicity are not fully understood.”

The CDC is calling for more information to study public health data to determine what is causing the racial and ethnic disparities in hospitalization rates and how the medical profession can make changes to decrease the risks. There is also an immediate need to learn more as schools consider reopening plans this fall. Trump has been pushing for fully reopening classrooms and teaching in-person, and has said children’s immune systems are strong and that they’ll recover quickly if they do get infected.

“Long-standing inequities in the social determinants of health, such as housing, economic instability, insurance status, and work circumstances of patients and their family members have systematically placed social, racial, and ethnic minority populations at higher risk for COVID-19 and more severe illness, possibly including MIS-C,” the CDC study stated.

The CDC also recommended kids wash their hands often and engage in social distancing, and also that kids aged 2 and older should wear a mask when with people outside of their families.

“Ongoing monitoring of hospitalization rates, clinical characteristics, ICU admission, and outcomes in the pediatric population is important to further characterize the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in children,” the CDC states.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.