Saturday, May 12, 2007

Child Abusers--Another Government Program?

It's not news to right-thinking people that "shacking up" has consequences. But it IS news that the numbers have been published.

A child who lives in the house with an unrelated adult is nearly 50 times more likely to be killed than a child living with both biological parents, according a study published in the November 2005 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Researchers believe the study is the first of its kind.


Now that we know the elements of the problem, however, we should spend a bunch of money to define the elements of the problem, right?

Lynn Sheets, medical director of the Child Protection Center at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, said the state needs to do a better job with prevention. Wisconsin is one of only eight states that do not have legislation or administrative rules for a statewide child-fatality review team, according to the National Center for Child Death Review. Most states mandate a team and dedicate personnel and funding, which ranges from less than $50,000 to over $500,000.
Such teams review all child deaths so they can spot trends and target prevention efforts and public policy.

"Wisconsin is definitely behind in development of child death reviews," Sheets said.

Wisconsin has had a team in place since the late 1990s but does not dedicate resources to it, and the reporting efforts from the state's 72 counties haven't been coordinated, said Karen Ordinans, executive director of the Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin and a member of the team.

"The data is telling us that we need to put our attention to this issue," Ordinans said. "If you look at all the child fatalities in Wisconsin, many experts will tell you over 50 percent were preventable."

With all due respect to Ms. Ordinans and Ms. Sheets, it occurs to us that mothers who don't pay attention are the predicate. Money ain't gonna change that, nor are more "reviews."

And, by the way--remember back in the 1970s/1980s when it became de rigeur to suspect natural fathers of abuse in any case where a child showed up with a broken bone?

That was the same period in which it was announced that there was a "Super Bowl Syndrome" of husbands abusing their wives on Super Bowl Sunday...

Just sayin'

1 comment:

Headless Blogger said...

That is an astonishing statistic. Put in context, a drug or food that increases the chances of death or injury by even a fraction of a percent will be immediately banned. But women will voluntarily put their children at risk in a huge manner without a thought.

Seems like there was some basis for those traditional values, after all.