No news is bad news: The persistence of child abuse in the US

In 2006, the United States had the highest rate of child deaths due to negligence, maltreatment, or physical assault among 17 peer developed countries. The rate of child death due to maltreatment in the US was more than three times higher than the rate in Canada and more than four times the rate in France.

What’s even worse is that we are making no appreciable progress on reducing child abuse.

Karen Farst and her colleagues present data on the trend in hospitalizations resulting from child abuse in children aged 0-3 years.

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The top graph shows that the rates of hospitalizations for injuries have been stable. The bottom graph shows that the severity of the injuries (ISS = “Injury Severity Score”, a standard measure of trauma) has been increasing.

The graphs report the battering of thousands of infants and toddlers. Why isn’t this one of the scandals that animate our news culture? Is it just too shameful to talk about?

@Bill_Gardner

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