A study conducted by a team of researchers from Warwick Medical School found that premature babies face a greater risk of abuse and neglect.
The study included 120,000 children born between 1983 and 2001. The findings were that the babies who had a low birth weight and were born premature are more often placed on the child protection register.
AdvertisementPremature babies include those that were born before 34 weeks. The findings were penned down in the journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
This is mainly due to the idea that these babies need special attention and would be very difficult to be handled by their parents.
Professor Nick Spencer said that low weight babies and premature babies are more irritable, more difficult and require higher levels of care than bigger babies.
Hence the infant's temperament and the difficult to cope with the situation would be a major cause of them undergoing a high risk of abuse.
The researcher also said that smaller babies were more likely to be separated from their parents early in their life.
They are more often put in a special care baby unit. This might break the bond between the child and the parents.
But the researchers feel that the units are much better in dealing with this problem. Prof Spencer also pointed out to the fact that women who have premature deliveries are those who are more likely to be monitored for abuse.
These women drink heavily during pregnancy thereby putting their baby at risk and also making them more likely to abuse their child later.