The events over the last week beginning in Minneapolis and spreading across the nation over the weekend have likely increased levels of stress and anxiety among children and families living in communities impacted by injustice, inequality, and violence. The stress of the pandemic and social distancing may also be increasing such feelings. Primary care providers and mental health professionals can help and support children and families who may be struggling. News reports and social media coverage of the events have been graphic and disturbing. Children and adolescents may experience a variety of emotions ranging from fear, stress and anxiety to anger, frustration, and behavioral actions. During this time, it is important to remember to limit not only your exposure, but children and adolescent’s exposure, to the 24 hour a day news and social media cycle. Ensure that children are viewing information that is age appropriate and have supportive adults available to discuss issues and questions that may arise from coverage of the violence not only in their communities, but across the nation. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides information and guidance in The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent.
The National Child Stress Initiative provides an infographic on recognizing traumatic stress in children.
Navigating medication management with patients and families can be challenging in the best of situations. During the pandemic, it is important to remind your patients to maintain their medication routine. Patients may have trouble refilling medications. Manufacturers and pharmacies may have difficulty with production delays or disruptions because of gaps in the supply chain. Illinois DocAssist consultants are available to assist providers in determining if a medication regimen should be adjusted or changed in times of shortage or disruption. Ensuring that patients are refilling medication before they run out will help ensure medication is taken appropriately. Checking on medication shortages in your area and contacting local pharmacies for supply availability are important. The American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) provides updated information on medication shortages.