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Children facing more trauma hospitalizations in Colorado Springs amid pandemic

Children and trauma

With more kids at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Children's Hospital in Colorado Springs has seen an uptick in trauma injuries.

Warmer weather and kids out of school mean emergency department workers and pediatricians often see a rise in injuries.

It's normal, but what's not normal is the 118% increase in the number of trauma cases since the beginning of the year.

"A lot of that is likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Amanda Abramczyk-Thill, with Safe Kids Coordination and Education Prevention.

In the last few months, Children’s ER saw a sharp increase in injuries resulting in abuse, something Dr. Michael DiStefano, an ER physician and the hospital’s chief medical officer, is also attributing to COVID-19.

"Usually there are stressers and this is a very stressful time for families and for parents. If families are having financial struggles it increases the likelihood of accidental trauma," he said.

Summer session also means that teachers, who are on the front lines of spotting abuse, can’t keep their eyes on at-risk students.

"We're having less interventions and subsequently it potentially may escalate and cause injuries that we'll see in the Emergency Department," DiStefano said.

But the increase in trauma injuries doesn't just stem from abuse.
9% of injuries are car-related trauma, where kids were not wearing a seatbelt. Just last week, a 5-year-old child died in a crash near I-25 and S. Academy after not wearing a seatbelt.

"As a parent, it's essentially their role to make sure a child is riding safely," Abramczyk-Thill said.

With children suffering more severe injuries, medical workers say most could have been prevented.

Doctors say the fear of COVID-19 has caused parents to fear going to the emergency room, but they want to assure parents it is safe and it could potentially make a big difference with your child's health.

Health / Local News / News

Alexis Dominguez

Alexis is a reporter for KRDO and Telemundo Surco. Learn more about Alexis here.