Promoting children’s health

ZPromoting the health of rising generations is one of the important objectives of health policy. Children in particular make great developmental steps in a short time. At the same time, essential foundations for health in later years are laid in childhood. Therefore, it is the goal of the Federal Ministry of Health to promote a healthy growth of children and to detect and treat diseases as early as possible through medical care. Children with severe, chronic or rare illnesses should receive the best possible medical care, which also enables a good everyday life.Examples of funded projects Health

Implementing organisation Robert Koch Institute, Berlin

Runtime December 2021 – May 2023

Brief description of the measure The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying containment measures led to significant changes in the daily lives of the entire population from spring 2020 onwards. In the course of the pandemic, children and young people were particularly affected by drastic measures and changing living conditions such as lockdown phases, kindergarten and school closures, mandatory masks and distancing requirements. Initial studies have shown that these changes can have health consequences at different levels.

Further information Current child health in Germany: Monitoring child health during and after the COVID-19 pandemic (KIDA)

Implementing organisation University of Lübeck, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein

Runtime July 2021 – January 2022

Brief description of the measure The COVID-19 pandemic poses a particular challenge for promoting the health and care of children and adolescents. This is especially true for vulnerable children with special care needs, such as children with severe chronic illnesses or with disabilities. Especially during the lockdown phases, social distancing measures and hygiene measures were used, which led to drastic changes in the lives of children and young people. Health care facilities – such as social paediatric centres – were partially restricted by the measures and care services could only be partially provided, so that alternative forms of treatment were quickly required. The experiences of families and children and adolescents in the use of health services were supplemented by the experience of professionals on the development and establishment of innovative forms of care in practices and social pediatric centers.

Further information Social pediatric care and bio-psycho-social health of children and adolescents during the corona pandemic (ABCDEF-COOP)

Implementing organisation Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

Runtime October 2021 – December 2023

Brief description of the measure Myocarditis is a very rare risk that has become known in the context of widespread use after vaccination with mRNA-COVID-19 vaccines, especially in young men and male children and adolescents after the second vaccination. A systematic recording and analysis of the cases has not yet taken place. The aim of the PedMYC-VAC project carried out by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) under the project management of the MYKKE registry (registry for children and adolescents with suspected myocarditis) at the German Heart Center Berlin is a retro- and prospective recording of cases of heart muscle inflammation in children and adolescents after COVID-19 vaccination in order to further investigate this rare side effect in children and adolescents. In addition to the frequency of this vaccine side effect, a characterization and mapping of the severity of the disease, as well as its short- and long-term consequences (at least 12 months follow-up) should be recorded using the established structure of the MYKKE registry.

Further information MYKKE Registry – Recording of children and adolescents with suspected myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination

Implementing organisation University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology

Runtime January 2020 – December 2022

Brief description of the measure With the Prevention Act, health examinations for children and adolescents were made more prevention-oriented. Psychosocial stress and psychological abnormalities of the children are also examined in depth, with the aim of offering support measures at an early stage or – if necessary – initiating therapies. Currently, various instruments are used in pediatric practice for the early detection of psychological abnormalities, such as the Mannheim Parent Questionnaire. For the expert discussion about a possible regular use in the context of health examinations for children and adolescents, reliable findings on the validity of such a screening instrument are necessary. The aim of the project is to evaluate an established and tried and tested screening instrument for psychological abnormalities in childhood and adolescence. In the event of a positive result, i.e. findings on the added value, practicability and high reliability of the screening instrument in the early detection of psychological abnormalities, in-depth advice on the use of the instrument within the framework of the children’s examination programme in the G-BA can be initiated by those entitled to apply (e.g. KBV or patient representatives).

Implementing organisation Kidstime Deutschland e. V.

Runtime December 2021 – November 2024

Brief description of the measure Children of parents with serious mental illnesses often have special support needs. The illness of the parents can have an impact on the whole family. Many families find suitable ways to deal with the burdens and avoid negative consequences for the children. However, in the case of serious, long-lasting mental illness of a parent, the burden on families and children is high. These children have an increased risk of becoming mentally ill themselves or developing psychological abnormalities.

Affected children and their families therefore need support at an early stage in the form of low-threshold and direct help as well as preventive offers. The so-called “Kidstime Workshops” are part of such family support offers, which are already offered in several cities and municipalities. The aim is to improve the health and well-being of affected young people and their families. In a model project, examples are to be shown and tested in ways in which cities and municipalities can set up corresponding network structures in Germany and carry out Kidstime workshops.

The scientific findings gained within the framework of the model project can be used in the future to promote the implementation of the offers for children with mentally ill parents and their families further developed and evaluated in the project in other regions and to support municipalities in setting up targeted support services for families with mentally seriously ill parents within the framework of a municipal network.

Further information Conception, implementation and evaluation of a scientific model project for the implementation of quality-assured Kidstime workshops (Kidstime)

Implementing organisation Heidelberg University Hospital

Runtime December 2021 – November 2023