Media Alert: Nationwide Childrens Hospital Concerned about Recent Growing Number of Local Suspected Child Abuse Cases

December 31, 2008

Nationwide Childrens Hospital has become increasingly concerned about the recent growing number of suspected child abuse cases seen at the hospital and the severity of injuries sustained from suspected child abuse. Child abuse and neglect often occur in families under stress, in the middle of a crisis or at the end of the rope. Economic hardships and stress of the holiday season could be contributing factors to the recent rise of suspected child abuse cases. The stress that families endure during an economic downturn can increase the threat of child abuse, neglect and domestic violence. At Nationwide Childrens Hospital, there were more consultations for suspected abuse and neglect and the highest mortality rate of traumatic deaths in 2008, than in any year since compiling these data. 

Rising Trend in Traumatic Injuries and Mortality from Child Abuse
Year                  NCH Consultations                     Deaths from Child Abuse
2008                 183                                                  11
2007                 148                                                    5
2006                 156                                                    5

Nationwide Childrens would like to urge the Central Ohio community to be mindful of the stress and coping abilities of families and friends. When people lose their job or face other economic hardships, stress can have an unintentional, devastating impact for children. If you know of families or friends experiencing stressors, look for ways to help offer to take the children for a few hours; have people over for dinner or take prepared dishes to their home; make a phone call or stop by for a visit. If parents are experiencing stress they can call the Parent Resource Line, 614-224-CARE (2273), a resource of Prevent Child Abuse Ohio in the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Childrens. The Parent Resource Line is designed to connect families to resources and information.

If a child indicates that they are afraid to return home, call the appropriate Childrens Services agency (by county) or the local police immediately. If you need additional help determining what to do in the case of suspected abuse, call the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Childrens at 614-722-3278. In case of an emergency, dial 911.

NOTE TO EDITOR:
Yvette McGee Brown, president of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, and Philip Scribano, DO, medical director of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy and chief of the Division of Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Childrens, are available for comment and interviews. Please note that the hospital will not provide patient family interviews specifically related to this topic at this time.

CONTACT:
Mary Ellen Peacock/Pam Barber/Liz Sommer
Nationwide Childrens Hospital
Marketing and Public Relations
(614) 355-0495
(614) 847-7939

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report's 2016-17 list of "America's Best Children's Hospitals," Nationwide Children's Hospital is America's largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare system providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children's has a staff of more than 11,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.2 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children's physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health–funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. Nationwide Children's remains true to the original mission since its founding in 1892 of providing care regardless of a family's ability to pay. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.