New Report Uncovers “Alarming” Rate of Child Hospitalization Due to Abuse

The March 2012 issue of Pediatrics will contain the first quantified findings detailing the hospitalization rates of children due to serious physical abuse in the United States. The report, released by the Yale School of Medicine, uncovered 4,569 instances of children being hospitalized due to serious abuse in 2006, with approximately 300 cases in which the children died as a result of serious injuries. According to the findings, children were at their highest likelihood for serious injury within the first 12 months of life, with a projected 58.2 per 100,000 children within the age group being hospitalized for abuse. Researchers at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital used data from the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) to estimate the number of incidences in which children younger than 18-years-old were hospitalized due to serious physical abuse in 2006. The Kids’ Inpatient Database was prepared by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, under the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

New Study Dispels Some Notions About Sexting

The journal Pediatrics has published a new study on the prevalence of teens sending sexually explicit texts and nude images of themselves to other teens. The study reports that 2.5 percent of children interviewed age 10 to 17 have appeared in or created somewhat or nearly nude photographs or videos. However, only one in 100 has created images that are sexually explicit enough to be considered a breach of child pornography laws, such as showing breasts, genitals or bottoms.

The study, published Dec. 5th, is based on 1,560 in-depth telephone interviews with minors. It is one of the largest surveys yet to examine the subject.

New Report Looks at the State of Health Care in the Juvenile Justice System

Youth in the juvenile justice system are at high-risk for physical, mental and developmental health issues according to a new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence. Despite this, many youths don’t receive the level of health care they need, either in the system or when they get out. The report represents the first update in 10 years to the Health Care for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System. Nationwide 2.11 million* juveniles were arrested in 2008, according to the report. And while not all arrested youth are placed in some form of detention (either short- or long-term) the median stay in custody in 2006 was 65 days.

Depressed Dads More Likely to Spank Says New Study

Fathers suffering from depression are more likely to spank their children and less likely to read to them, a new study finds.  The research, published in Pediatrics, found that 41 percent of fathers with depression hit their child in the last month, nearly three times as frequently as fathers who weren’t depressed,  ScienceDaily reported. The University of Michigan Health System study looked at 1,746 fathers of one-year-old children.  Of those, 7 percent were diagnosed with depression.  Depressed fathers were also less likely to read to their children.  Forty-one percent of depressed dads read to their kids at least three times per week compared with 58 percent of fathers without depression. “This study is important because it demonstrates that depression in fathers has very tangible effects on how those fathers interact with their young children,” said Sarah Clark, one of the authors of the study. You can read more information here.

Teen Sex and Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Truth or Consequences

What teens say about their sex lives may not always be true and could jeopardize their health. Researchers have found inconsistencies between self-reported behaviors and laboratory-confirmed STD results. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health surveyed more than 14,000 young people about their sexual activity. After completing the survey, they all submitted a urine sample to researchers. The results are astounding.

LGBT Teens Are More Likely to Get Arrested

Teens who are lesbian, gay or bisexual are more likely to be arrested, expelled from school and/or put in jail than heterosexual kids, according to a nationwide study. The study also found that gay kids are more vulnerable to health risks including addiction, bullying and family abuse. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health looked at teens in grades seven through 12 who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Lesbian girls reported the worst treatment, indicating they were stopped by police 50 percent more often than their straight peers in one experiment. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, is unclear why lesbian, gay or bisexual kids are facing harsher treatment.