Medstar Health – Back to School Survey

Back-to-School Survey Insights

Medstar Health surveyed 1,000 primary caregivers of school-age children in Washington DC and Baltimore in July 2022.

Back to School Concerns: Nearly 90% of Parents are Concerned about Mental Health

We asked parents how concerned they are about each of the following topics: catching a cold or flu, covid, stress, mental health, eating, and sleeping. About 80-90% of parents were concerned about each and every one of these issues.

These high levels of concern among parents across a variety of health issues point to high levels of worry, stress, and anxiety among parents.

Parents’ concerns about covid remain high

Despite being in the late stages of the pandemic, parents still express a high level of concern about covid for their kids.

  • Three out of four parents are worried about their child getting covid.
  • Half of the parents are not okay with their kids being around unvaccinated people.
  • Nearly 1/3 of parents are uncomfortable with sending their kids to school.

Most parents plan to have their kids wear masks in the fall

Most parents plan to have their kids wear masks when they return to school in the fall. Here is the number of parents who said yes to having their kids wear masks:

  • 73% on the school bus
  • 71% in the classroom
  • 65% indoors
  • 35% outdoors

Bulk of parents are in favor of required indoor masks and covid vaccinations

Parents’ concern about covid for their kids is further demonstrated by the bulk of them wanting requirements for covid vaccinations for kids and requirements for masks indoors at schools.

  • 71% of parents think that schools should require masks indoors
  • 61% of parents say that covid vaccines should be mandatory for kids

Most kids are immunized

Most children are fully immunized (77%) or partially immunized (15%), with about 6% who are not immunized at all.

Most kids are getting their flu shot

The majority of kids get their flu shot, with 80% of kids getting their flu shot every year or most years.

What time of year do kids get their flu shot? The vast majority get them during the recommended time — before school starts or during the first two months of the school year.

Most kids have received the covid vaccine

About three-fourths of kids have received at least 2 doses of the covid vaccine. About 20% have not been vaccinated against covid.

For the kids who did not get a covid vaccine at all, the main reasons given were:

  • Concern about side effects – 23%
  • Don’t trust vaccines in general – 19%
  • Lack of sufficient studies – 18%
  • My child is healthy without the covid vaccine – 16%
  • Efficacy for new variants/mutations – 8%
  • My child has already had covid – 8%
  • Health condition that’s incompatible with the covid vaccine – 3%
  • Too young – 2%

Mental health tops the list of parents concerns

  • Nearly 90% of parents are concerned about their child’s mental health, with 61% of parents feeling very concerned.
  • Nearly 60% of them say that their child is still feeling the effects of the pandemic on his/her mental health.
  • 25% of kids have received treatment or assistance for a mental health condition in the past 12 months; 20% of kids have a formal diagnosis for a mental health condition.
  • 20% of kids have received treatment for a neurodevelopmental condition such as ADHD or autism spectrum disorder, and about the same proportion of kids have received assistance for a behavioral issue.

The pandemic has had a long term impact on children’s mental health and education

The pandemic is not over, particularly in its far-reaching effects on kids.

  • 58% of parents say that the pandemic is still affecting their child’s mental health.
  • 66% say that the pandemic has had long-term effects on their child’s education.

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Medstar Health – Back to School Survey
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