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Children in families with low incomes face extra challenges during pandemic

In communities struggling with poverty and gun violence, the coronavirus has only inflamed the difficulties that many families already were enduring (Source: “How the Pandemic Has Been Devastating for Children From Low-Income Families,” New York Times, Dec. 29).

Since March, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a 24 percent spike nationwide in mental-health-related emergency room visits among children between the ages of 5 and 11, and a 31 percent rise among those between 12 and 17, compared with the same period last year.

The disruptions to daily life — and the associated stresses of lives on pause — have been perhaps most acutely felt by children from low-income families, experts said, many of whom live in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods that have been plagued by a rise in gun violence and disproportionately high coronavirus infection rates.

While most children should bounce back from isolation and remote learning, childhood development experts said, those growing up amid other adversities like systemic racism, domestic violence, abuse and poverty are struggling to cope with the turmoils of the pandemic — and face greater obstacles in recovering.