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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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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Corresponding Author: Rachel Kidman, PhD, Stony Brook University, 101 Nicolls Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Accepted for Publication: January 21, 2021.
Published Online: April 5, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0161
Author Contributions: Dr Verdery had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Kidman, Margolis, Verdery.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: Kidman, Verdery.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Verdery.
Obtained funding: Verdery.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Kidman.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Verdery reported grants from the National Institute on Aging and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development during the conduct of the study. No other disclosures were reported.
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