The percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the United States doubled over nearly a decade, according to new research that will be presented Sunday at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. A steady increase in admissions due to suicidality and serious self-harm occurred at 32 children’s hospitals across the nation from 2008 through 2015, the researchers found.
The children studied were between the ages of 5 and 17, and although all age groups showed increases, the largest uptick was seen among teen girls. “We noticed over the last two, three years that an increasing number of our hospital beds are not being used for kids with pneumonia or diabetes; they were being used for kids awaiting placement because they were suicidal,” said Dr. Gregory Plemmons, presenter of the study and an associate professor of pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. READ MORE