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A 73%–88% reduction in paediatric emergency department (PED) presentations has been reported during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-2-CoV-2) pandemic.1 The magnitude of this decrease suggests that a combination of biological, psychological and social factors influence the decisions of families to attend PED.
Our hospital is the busiest PED in Ireland, with ~55 000 emergency department (ED) attendances/year. Ireland‘s first SAR-2-CoV-2 case was reported on 29 February; schools/childcare facilities were closed on 12 March; and a stay-at-home order was issued on 27 March. As of 18 May, only 402 of the 24 036 total cases of SARS-CoV-2 in Ireland were children aged <14 years (1.6%), with 36 hospitalised, 2 requiring intensive care unit care and no reported deaths in children.
A single-centre retrospective review of presentations for March and April 2018, 2019 and 2020, covering the three phases of the national response, …
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.