As Recession Continues, Child Abuse Increases in the U.S.

September 19, 2011  |  

A recent study found that the recession could be contributing to a dangerous spike in child abuse against infants. As it stands, it seems increasing economic hardships and the stress of it could be related to the aggression and stress taken out on young children, causing a number of reported head injuries.

In a study of 422 abused children released by the journal Pediatrics on Monday, all subjects, those being under five years of age, were diagnosed with “abusive head trauma. The children were from low-income families from 74 counties across states like Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh area), Ohio, Kentucky and Washington (Seattle area). While most of the children in the five-year study wound up in the intensive care unit, 16 percent died of their injuries.  The study found that the stress of economic hardships could possibly be contributing to this violence, and that more steps need to be taken to help parents and provide violence prevention efforts during these hard times. According to Reuters, Rachel P. Berger, a child abuse expert at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh who worked on the study, she says felt the study was necessary after seeing head injury cases in her hospital increase from an average of 17 in 2007, to 37 in 2008. She says a lot of the abuse can be blamed on the fact that the government doesn’t help people struggling financially with childcare issues:

“We have actually increased their stress by decreasing programs to help infants and young children. When people are stressed in this country, for instance during a hurricane, as a society we provide help to those people. Here we have an economic recession and what happens during that time is we actually pull back,” she said. “We need to really think about what the outcome is going to be when we cut programs that help infants and young children.”

To find more info about the study and to get advice on how to care for a child without finding yourself too stressed out, click over to Today.com.

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