Rates of pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations have varied dramatically across US states and more than tripled from May to November, raising concerns that specialized medical resources for children may not be available at the time and place they are needed, according to a research letter published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics.

A team led by researchers from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis used state-level hospitalization data and US Census information to assess COVID-19 hospitalization trends among patients 19 years and younger in 22 states.

From May 15 to Nov 15, 2020, a total of 301,102 Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19, 5,364 of them children. In mid-May, the average cumulative hospitalization rate per 100,000 children was 2.0, which increased to 7.2 by mid-November.

Pediatric coronavirus hospitalization rates varied widely over the study period. When the study started, Hawaii and Rhode Island had no pediatric cases, compared with New Jersey and Colorado, which had the highest rates, at 5.0 and 4.4 per 100,000 children, respectively.

By the end of the study, Hawaii still had a low rate (4.3 per 100,000 children), but New Hampshire had the lowest rate, at 3.4 per 100,000. South Dakota and Arizona had the highest rates (33.7 and 32.8 per 100,000, respectively).

From 42% to 5,067% change in 3 months

Credit: iStock, KatarzynaBialasiewicz

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