By CBSBoston.com Staff

WASHINGTON (CBS) — The Children’s Hospital Association, which includes several pediatric facilities in Massachusetts, is appealing to President Joe Biden, Congress and the public for help, citing “unprecedented strain.”

The association made up of more than 220 children’s hospitals says pediatric COVID cases are rising and hospitalizations for respiratory illnesses among children are spiking. It’s urging immediate action to support the institutions that are facing a “perfect storm” of challenges as kids head back to school.

The association is seeking relief funding and federal workforce support as soon as possible.

“Children’s hospitals and their dedicated staffs are doing their part, and we hope every American, the White House and Congress can help,” CHA’s CEO Mark Wietecha said in a statement. “Given the situation on the ground, we are reaching out to draw further attention to the challenges we face that affect our kids.”

Massachusetts has several pediatric hospitals in the association, including Baystate Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Franciscan Children’s, MassGeneral Hospital For Children, Shriners Hospital, Tufts Children’s Hospital and UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center.

The state has not had the COVID hospitalization problems that others have seen recently thanks to a high percentage of vaccinations. There were 16 patients under 17 years old admitted to Massachusetts hospitals due to COVID between Aug. 8 and Aug. 21, according to the latest data.

CBSBoston.com Staff