COVID-19 Impact on Pediatric Health: A survey of families in Wayne County, MI

Raksha Raheja, Chaya Pitman-Hunt, Sara Haidar, Slavica Gjorgjevska, Jacqueline Leja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. In response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the state mandated “Stay At Home” order included closure of schools and public places and physical distancing measures. As a result, social interactions among children were significantly impaired and pediatric outpatient offices and vaccination rates declined. We sought to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health as well as access to health care in our pediatric population in Wayne County, Michigan. Design/Methods. We conducted a survey through the Wayne County Public School Districts to elicit information regarding subjects’ access to pediatric health care as well as experiences pertinent to their child(ren)’s mental health. Results. Approximately 8500 surveys were sent to families and 278 responses were received. Responses revealed that 46% of children spent more time alone during the pandemic, 36.9% had changes in sleep, 25.6% had little pleasure in doing things, and 32.5% were unhappy or sad. 66.2% were able to make new visits during the pandemic, however, 20.1% missed their child’s doctors’ visits for reasons including clinic cancellations and fear of entering a healthcare setting. Conclusions. The results of this survey demonstrate significant mental health concerns among our pediatric population as approximately 1/3 of families reported changes in behavior or mental health. As school closures persist in response to the ongoing pandemic and social interactions remain limited, it is imperative that pediatricians screen for depression, behavioral problems and other mental health concerns and offer families help to identify appropriate community mental health resources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Pediatric Health
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • pediatric mental health
  • school
  • social determinants of health


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