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Lancet. 2004 Oct 9-15;364(9442):1340-2.

Infant crying and abuse.

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Department of Health Sciences, Groningen University, PO Box 196, 9700 AD Groningen, Netherlands.


Child abuse and neglect are important causes of child morbidity and death. We assessed potentially detrimental parental actions induced by infant crying in 3259 infants aged 1-6 months, in the Netherlands. In infants aged 6 months, 5.6% (95% CI 4.2-7.0) of parents reported having smothered, slapped, or shaken their baby at least once because of its crying. The risks of detrimental actions were highest for parents from non-industrialised countries, those with either no job or a job with short working hours, and those who judged their infant's crying to be excessive. Clinicians should be aware of the risks of abuse in children known to cry a lot and should target interventions at parents to help them cope with this crying.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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