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J Pediatr Health Care. 2016 May-Jun;30(3):231-40. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2015.12.009. Epub 2016 Feb 5.

Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors: Where to Begin.

Abstract

The number of unaccompanied immigrant minors (UIMs) from Central America significantly increased in 2014. Nearly 50,000 children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras crossed the United States-Mexico border in 2014, compared with 3,933 in 2011. Few resources exist to guide pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) in their care of UIM. The multifactorial reasons behind migration and the state of children's health in Central America provide insight into the needs of UIMs. Guidelines for similar groups such as foreign-born children and refugees offer direction for the health care considerations of UIMs. This article provides demographic information on UIMs, highlights the unique and challenging medical and mental health issues facing UIMs, and discusses the role of the PNP. A UIM's initial visit with a PNP serves as an opportunity to build trust through culturally competent, trauma-informed care, provide preventive care, assess for unmet health needs, and screen for mental health conditions.

KEYWORDS:

Unaccompanied immigrant minors; child migrants; unaccompanied alien children

PMID:
26858232
DOI:
10.1016/j.pedhc.2015.12.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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