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One in 50 US Babies Abused and Neglected Each Year

A recent study found one in 50 infants in the US suffer nonfatal child abuse or neglect each year. The study, which is believed to be the first of its kind in that age group, is particularly disturbing considering infants are so vulnerable and voiceless.

Child welfare officials define neglect as a "failure to meet a child's basic needs including housing, clothing, feeding and access to medical care." Here's more:

  • The study focused on children younger than one year, and found nearly a third were one week old or younger when the abuse or neglect occurred.
  • The researchers counted more than 91,000 infant victims of abuse and neglect in the period October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006.
  • About 30,000 of the cases involved infants aged one week or younger. About 68 percent of those cases were attributed to neglect.

I can't help but have a guttural reaction to these findings and the idea that such a high percentage of infants aren't being properly cared for. Do you think the numbers are accurate?


Pepper Pepper 9 years
This breaks my heart.
runningesq runningesq 9 years
I work in a courthouse (law clerk) and sadly, this doesn't surprise me :(
stina829 stina829 9 years
This just makes me so upset. How could anyone treat a newborn or any baby of any age badly? :(
Dana18 Dana18 9 years
This is so heart breaking. How can anyone do this. They need all the love in the world at this age. If sometime is not up for the job as a parent they need to give the child yup to people whom will love and nurture it.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
Ugh, I don't know how its even possible for anyone to mistreat or abuse a baby any age! What is really sad is just like RobinFabulous said these numbers are bound to rise :(
annebreal annebreal 9 years
It doesn't surprise me at all. Anniekim - what Lil said is accurate. Also, all of us are obligated by law to report physical abuse: if you witness a mother hitting her child in public, for example, and leaving marks, or you hear your neighbor beating their child at night and they're bruised the next day. Usually you're looking for cold hard proof of abuse or neglect - scratches, welts, cuts, bruises, or malnourishment, horrible hygeine, failure to thrive, clothes that reek, especially of chemicals (meth labs). There's a definite difference between rookie mistakes and abuse and neglect.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
How do they define abuse and neglect? I does make you want to cry, though, doesn't it?
blondie0087 blondie0087 9 years
you can read the whole story on They said they didn't count rookie parent's mistakes or the learning to be parents type things as neglect
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Truthfully, I'm not surprised. Raising children (at every stage) is an involved process, and thus, takes a lot of effort. Not every parent is going to rise to the challenge, unfortunately.
albeli albeli 9 years
So sad.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i week or younger? humm, sounds like parental exhaustion or lack of awareness. what are they not doing that the baby needs?
erinsugar erinsugar 9 years
Just to give benefit of the doubt, since over 1/3 of these were babies less than 1 week old, perhaps it's not always neglect but inexperience?
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 9 years
Sadly those number will only rise in lower socioeconomic groups. We used to get those sick babies that moms would "water down" the formula to get it to last the whole month. :-(
abqmama abqmama 9 years
I can't even comprehend how someone could abuse or neglect a child, especially one so small and helpless. It does make you sick to think about it. Those poor babies.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Oh this makes absolutely sick!
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