Infants at greatest risk for child abuse
February 6th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Infants at greatest risk for child abuse

Nearly 7% of abused children, who end up in the hospital die because of the abuse. And the children at greatest risk for suffering from serious physical abuse? Infants under the age of one.

A new study released today, in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed nearly 4,000, or almost 89%, of hospitals across the nation to get a sense of just how many children suffered from serious injuries due to physical abuse. This was the first national study to really look at serious injuries due to abuse.

The study looked at the 2006 Kids Inpatient Database from the Department of Health and Human Services, that tracked patients under the age of 18, and the reasons for hospitalization. The authors found that nearly 4,600 children went to the hospital that year because of abuse, which was determined by the attending physician. Doctors used the International Classification of Disease to qualify abuse. Symptoms that counted as abuse included shaken infant syndrome, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, abdominal injuries, burns, and open wounds.

The study found that for every 100,000 children, 6 were seriously abused. For children under one, the likelihood increased by more than 8 times. So, for every 100,000 infants, 58 came into hospital to be treated because of physical abuse. This is higher than the rate of infants impacted by Sudden Infant Death syndrome - 50 infant deaths for every 100,000.

Infants covered by Medicaid, were at greatest risk ,with every one in 752 infants being seriously abused.

Overall, children on Medicaid were about 6 times more likely to be abused over children not covered by Medicaid.

According to Karel Amaranth, executive director of the J.E.&Z.B. Butler Child Advocacy Center with the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, there is a strong association between poverty and child abuse. She points out to stresses such as “stressful economic situations and lack of support for young mothers,” as some of the factors facing those who are impoverished. However, she was quick to note that sometimes it is easier for those in higher economic situations to also hide abuse.

According to the study, abused children stayed in the hospital nearly twice as long as non-abused children. And their hospital costs reflected that. On average, hospital costs for abused children were around $16,000 or adding up to $74 million dollars annually.

But, both Amaranth and the study’s authors caution that these numbers may be underreported as their study only looked at children who were hospitalized. The study did not account for children who were never hospitalized or died before getting treatment.

At the J.E. & Z.B. Butler Child Advocacy Center, Amaranth says “we see over 1,000 children a year, who come to the clinic, many of them never go to the hospital.” The study estimated that only 1.5% of all abused children actually go to the hospital for treatment.

But there is still value in these numbers, and Amaranth hopes that they grab people’s attention. “I think it’s so valuable when studies come out, because it causes people to question and relate to the numbers. It gives us a snapshot of what’s going on. But no one should feel that this is the definitive idea of what child abuse is.”

soundoff (736 Responses)
  1. Nearby RV Repairs


    June 28, 2021 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repair Seal Beach

    There is definately a lot to know about this issue. I really like all the points you've made.


    June 28, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sprinter Heater Contol Repair


    June 28, 2021 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Nearest RV Repair

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this information.


    June 28, 2021 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Service Van Repair Shop

    Good post. I absolutely appreciate this website. Keep writing!


    June 28, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sprinter Van Restoration

    I couldnít resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    June 28, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your web page.


    June 29, 2021 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Nearby RV Repairs

    I absolutely love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my very own site and would love to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Kudos!


    June 29, 2021 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Excellent post! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    June 29, 2021 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair San Clemente California

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!


    June 29, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sprinter Van Mechanic Shop

    This website was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Kudos!


    June 29, 2021 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Rv Windshield Replacement Shop


    June 30, 2021 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Shops Nearby


    June 30, 2021 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Repair Huntington Beach


    June 30, 2021 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 30, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 30, 2021 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repairs Nearby

    After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 30, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Ryan Frascella

    Very interesting points you have observed , thanks for posting . "Whatever we conceive well we express clearly, and words flow with ease." by Nicolas Boileau.

    May 13, 2022 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.