A report published in the latest issue of Pediatrics shows poverty and severe abuse appear to be linked and that the highest death rate from abuse is among infants 12 months old or younger. The report is the first broad U.S. estimate of serious injuries due to child abuse.
The researchers, who were led by Dr. John Levanthal of Yale University, reviewed data from the 2006 Kids’ Inpatient Database, which contains information on more than 2 million pediatric hospitalizations. Based on the data, which is the last such numbers available, the team found that six out of every 100,000 children under 18 were hospitalized with injuries ranging from burns to wounds to brain injuries and bone fractures. The report also showed that hospitalizations for physical abuse were six times higher for children on Medicaid than children with other payment methods, which indicates low-icome status, and that babies younger than one were the most common victims.
Dr. Leventhal said “We need a national campaign related to child abuse where every parent is reminded that kids can get injured.”