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J Pediatr Surg. 2007 Oct;42(10):1735-9.

Temporal factors and the incidence of physical abuse in young children: decreased nonaccidental trauma during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Penn State Children's Hospital and Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.



Educational efforts have been shown to decrease the incidence of abusive injuries. Information related to factors that associate with child abuse would further these educational efforts. We undertook this study to determine the influence of temporal factors and a national preventative program on the incidence of abusive injuries in young children.


The Pennsylvania Trauma Outcome Study database was queried for all children 36 months old or younger admitted with abusive injuries. Data collected included day, month, and season. Data were analyzed by Poisson regression.


Six hundred seventy-two cases of child abuse were reported, with a linear increase in the number of cases per year (P < .001). Sunday had fewer abuse cases admitted than any other day of the week (risk ratio, 0.70; P = .008). Younger children were less likely to be injured during April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and more likely to be injured during August and October (all P < .05).


We observed fewer inflicted injuries in young children on Sundays, and during April. The causes for these significant variations deserve further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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