Way back at the beginning of this pandemic, a narrative took hold that kids are not affected. Now, more than a year in, it is imperative to acknowledge that the raw numbers only begin to hint at the event’s enormous impact on our nation’s 74 million children.

The Numbers:

  • 3.6 million: the number of children who have contracted COVID-19.
  • Nearly 15,000: the number of children hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • 3,000: the number of children who developed the rare but serious condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)
  • 279: the number of children who have died from COVID-19.

The Impact:


  • Roughly 40,000 children have lost a parent to COVID-19. The number, reported in JAMA Pediatrics, represents a 20% increase over non-COVID parental deaths. And this is just through February 2021. Three-quarters of those children were adolescents, and one-quarter were children younger than 10.
  • More than 4,200 children lost a parent or caregiver in New York State alone. As many as one-quarter of these children are at risk of entering foster or kinship care.

Increased racial inequity: 

Expanded educational gaps:

Increased — yet grossly underestimated — homelessness:

Rampant hunger:

Decline in overall health and wellness:

Soaring child poverty: