First up in the news this week is a rather alarming report from a Yale University study. According to the article, 1 in 8 U.S. children will be subjected to some form of maltreatment by adulthood. This estimate is larger than the current reported percentages in the country. Sociologist Christopher Wildeman reported on this study to Reuters Health.
12.5% of Kids At Risk for Mistreatment by Age 18
The concern is that even this estimate based on confirmed cases might be low-balling the numbers of children at risk and underlines the need for caregivers of all kinds, including EMTs and paramedics, to be more vigilant and make sure we are assessing our patients for potential risk for abuse. The study looked at data on 5.7 million U.S. kids with reports confirming that they have be mistreated in some way between 2004 and 2011. Based on these rates, this means that 12.5% of children, 1 out of every 8 kids, will experience maltreatment by age 18. For some minorities, this means that they are as likely to be mistreated as graduate from college.
We can work on this problem by working questions surrounding safety and security of young patients into our assessments. Remember that in almost every State, we aren’t just ethically responsible to report suspected child abuse and neglect, we are required to do so!
Take this responsibility seriously and make an effort to ascertain with our young patients if they are safe in their homes and communities. According to CDC data, most child victims are maltreated by a parent, accounting for more than 80% of the cases reported. This is followed by other relatives and unmarried partners of parents. Be aware and keep your eyes open to what is often right in front of you!
Followup on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Elderly at Increased Risk for Poisoning and Overdose and Episode 391.