by Anne Trueman on  March 20, 2013 at 2:20 PM Health Watch
Child Abuse - A Rising Concern
Matt Blunt has rightly said, "Child abuse and neglect offend the basic values of our state. We have a responsibility to provide safe settings for at-risk children and facilitate permanent placement for children who cannot return home."

Incidences of child abuse have been increasing in the last decades.

Dr. Lynn Sheets and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin have been observing such incidences since a long time.

Dr. Lynn has noted a strange thing that kids who comes up to him for treatment has been exposed to minor bruises in their early childhood.

He clarified the situation by giving the example of a child who came with bruises on his cheeks. The child's parent attributed it as an accident and the same child was brought to Dr. Lynn, again beaten up brutally.

A number of similar incidences made Dr. Lynn to investigate the causes behind such prevalence of child abuse.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics. Lynn's study predicted bruises to be transformed into severe abuses and this trend was termed as "sentinel" injuries.

Sentinel injuries are regarded as the injuries seen in very young infants who cannot crawl and get hurt.

During the research Dr. Lynn and colleagues analyzed 401 infants under one year of age and categorized them in three categories.

The first category included infants who were abused, the second group consisted of children who were evaluated but not abused and the third category comprised up of children where the actual situation cannot be predicted.

The outcome of the study was that around 27.5 percent of the 200 babies, who were abused, had past history of bruises.

The second group of children had no sentinel injuries and in the third category about 8 percent of kids had past history of minor injuries.

The scientists found it difficult to assess the exact cause of occurrence of such incidences. A very important thing that was highlighted by the study was the importance of differentiating when bruises were converted to abuses.

Dr. Sheets said, "If we can call them what they are — 'sentinel' injuries, or warning injuries — it helps people think differently about them."

A handsome amount of money can be saved by preventing child abuses as a single case of abuse costs a lifetime price tag $210,000. This exorbitant money can be saved if the cases of child abuses are identified at an early stage.

Crying of a child can be an important reason for abuse as many people are irritated by the crying of a child.

The government and NGO's have been promoting various online campaigns to create awareness among parents and people in general, that crying is a part of child's normal developmental process.

The experts were of the opinion that identifying abuse at an initial stage can help families deal with it in a more proactive way.

Dr. Sheets stressed this point by saying "If we can identify abuse early, that in and of itself may help families get additional resources to deal with the stress of a new baby." 

Source: Medindia

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