Child Abuse from Caregivers

Caregivers may include parents, other family members, foster parents, babysitters (including boyfriends), daycare workers.

"The number of young children who die at the hands of parents or other caregivers is under reported by nearly 60%.

"Caregivers commit 85% of the homicides of children 10 and under, and strangers are the killers only 3% of the time. "...abuse deaths result from a SERIES of events. [and often children who are listed as homicides are regarded as victims of a single incident rather than as victims of abuse.]

[The study regarded single-incident deaths as abuse and that same criteria was then applied to other records from medical examiners. When this was done, the number of deaths from battering or abuse rose by 58.7%.] "Biological parents committed 64% of the killings.

[If these same criteria are applied on a national scale, national statistics would have shown 6,500 more child deaths due to abuse from 1985 through 1996.] "Researchers estimated that in 1996, 835 children died at the hands of caregivers nationwide.

[These statistics reinforce what some experts have been saying, that twice as many children are dying from abuse than are being reported.]

"Herman-Giddens said death certificates [need] to be redesigned to accommodate information related to abuse and that medical examiners and coroners [need] better training to recognize such deaths."(1)

1. Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, "Journal of the American Medical Association," 8/4/99; reported by the Associated Press, The Kansas City Star, 8/5/99, p. A12