Regarding the Feb. 22 front-page article “Youngest victims few, but pain runs deep”:

The pandemic has left our nation’s children and their families mentally vulnerable to the disease, leaving them fearful of the unknown. As a parent myself, I want other parents to know that they are not alone in making sure their children are protected physically and emotionally. Child life specialists are a crucial yet little-known resource that parents can access in all medical settings, ensuring that their child and family have emotional support during bereavement to help mitigate the trauma of sudden loss. As “emotional first-responders,” child life specialists have the expertise to support children and families to help provide moments of normalcy and comfort for kids and adults during times that may feel stressful and traumatic, and can help explain complex issues, like death and the loss of a loved one, using familiar language that they can understand. As we approach one year of isolation and surpass the unfortunate milestone of 500,000 lives lost from the coronavirus, parents and their children need a child life specialist to help them emotionally. The support that child life specialists offer is not just nice to have during this pandemic; it’s essential.  

Bailey Kasten, Arlington

The writer is chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer of

Association for Child Life Professionals.