Emergency Department Visits Increase for Mental and Behavioral Health Conditions in Children and Adolescents

By Jenna Michaels

Each year, during 2018–2023, the number and proportion of weekly ED visits for eight mental and behavioral health conditions were up to two times higher during the school semesters compared to summers among children and teens aged 10–17 years. Among children aged 5–9 years, the number and proportion of emergency department (ED) visits increased for five mental and behavioral health conditions. Parents and caregivers, educators, health care providers, and others who regularly interact with children and adolescents can learn about symptoms of mental distress, and monitor children and adolescents for possible increases in mental distress in the weeks leading up to and during the academic year.