Child abuse rose during recession, research says

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Still, the recession affected many lower-income families, and Sherman said the study highlights “a very important issue.”

Many of his patients are from poor families and abuse is not uncommon, he said.

He said pediatricians could help with prevention by asking families about difficulties paying for food or shelter and referring those in need to social service agencies. Sometimes just asking parents about stresses in their lives and acknowledging their struggles can help, he said.

Most parents who abuse young children aren’t “ill-intentioned,” he said. “Most of it is kind of just snapping…maybe being sleep-deprived and just losing it. It’s something that can happen to anyone. Economics is just another stress” that can increase the risks, Sherman said.

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Online:

Pediatrics: http://www.pediatrics.org

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AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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