Healthcare News & Insights

Recession may have triggered child abuse increases

Head trauma in infants has doubled in the past few years, and some experts think the sluggish economy is the cause.

Researchers at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland found that rates of non-accidental head trauma (formerly called shaken baby syndrome) hospitalizations among infants have doubled since the onset of the recession.

The study’s authors believe that stressed out parents dealing with job loss, looming foreclosures and other potential economic worries may be more likely to reach the end of their rope — and take out their frustrations on the baby.

That idea is backed up by an earlier study at the University of Pittsburgh. Researchers there were reviewing non-accidental head injury among infants and young children from 2004 through 2009 — and found that cases of  head trauma per month doubled just around the time the recession began.

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