A nationwide study found there is a serious increase in child abuse hospitalization cases for babies under a year. It looks like for the past decade there was no improvement made when it comes to child abuse.
For the past 10 years a lot of things have changed. Some improved, some remained the same, but others have made everyday life even more challenging. Economical and social factors deeply impact family life, and unfortunately, despite awareness campaigns, the children are those taking the toll. A new report on child abuse shows hospitalization for babies under a year with injuries caused by parents are on the rise.
The November issue of Pediatrics carries the result of a nationwide study that looked at the trends in child abuse over the past decade. Unfortunately there is no good news to report, data showing there is a huge contrast between reality and statistics from child protective services.
Yale University researchers John Leventhal, MD, and Julie Gaither, RN, MPH, MPhil, conducted an analysis of child abuse cases for more than a decade. They found that there is a spike in the number of child abuse injuries that required hospitalization among children 18 and under from 1997 until 2009.
“We’re looking at the most seriously injured kids” explained lead author Dr. John Leventhal. “The kids who get hospitalized for physical abuse represent a very small proportion of all the children in the country who are physically abused” he explained in a statement for Reuters.
The serious child abuse injuries kept victims in the hospital for a week on average. Most often, the children with child abuse injuries were hospitalized for the treatment of fractures, traumatic brain injuries and open wounds. It was a slight increase, but nonetheless the number of child abuse injuries that required hospitalization went from 6.1 to 6.4 between 1997 and 2009.
However, babies under a year were the most vulnerable to physical abuse. The number of child abuse injuries that required hospitalization for babies under one year went from 56.2 to 62.3 each year. “Infants tend to be hospitalized at a much higher rate than older children, and I think it’s because the injuries they sustain are much more serious” the lead researcher added.