A comparison of child abuse and neglect encounters before and after school closings due to SARS-Cov-2

Published on May 24, 2021in Child Abuse & Neglect
· DOI :10.1016/J.CHIABU.2021.105132
Elizabeth Salt12
Estimated H-index: 12
(UK: University of Kentucky),
Amanda T. Wiggins14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UK: University of Kentucky)
+ 4 AuthorsMary Kay Rayens49
Estimated H-index: 49
(UK: University of Kentucky)
Sources
Abstract
BACKGROUND Risk factors for child abuse and neglect and commonly used reporting mechanisms were highly affected by SARS-Cov-2 pandemic; yet, little is known about the effects of SARS-Cov-2 on rates of child abuse and neglect. OBJECTIVE To compare overall rates, demographics, types of abuse and acuity of child abuse and neglect encounters seen at one university health system for the 6 months before and after school closings due to the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING Data was extracted from a database of billed ICD10 codes for child abuse and neglect including sexual abuse codes. There were 579 encounters for patients <18 years of age and 476 unique patients. METHODS In addition to ICD10 code and pre/post school closing, each encounter was identified to be inpatient, outpatient and/or emergency department. Demographic data such as age, gender, ethnicity, and race were extracted. Incident rate ratios in addition to descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test, two-sample t-test, or the chi-square test of association were used in the analysis. RESULTS No significant differences were identified for total rates of child abuse and neglect encounters (p = .08), physical abuse (p = .91) nor child maltreatment (p = .86) codes or in the age (p = .46), gender (p = .58), and race/ethnicity (p = .15) of patient encounters pre- versus post-school closings. The sexual abuse incidence and inpatient encounters increased by 85% (IRR = 1.85, p < .0001; IRR = 1.85, p = .004, respectively). CONCLUSIONS Our findings provide a unique contribution to the existing literature in that we identified a significant increase in the incidence of sexual abuse and higher patient acuity as evidenced by higher rates of inpatient encounters after school closing due to SARS-Cov-2.
References4
Newest
Heightened stress, school closures, loss of income, and social isolation resulting from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have increased the risk for child abuse and neglect (1). Using National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) data from January 6, 2019-September 6, 2020, CDC tabulated weekly numbers of emergency department (ED) visits related to child abuse and neglect and calculated the proportions of such visits per 100,000 ED visits, as well as the percentage of suspected ...
18 CitationsSource
From January 21 through February 23, 2020, a total of 14 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were diagnosed in six U.S. states, including 12 cases in travelers arriving from China and two in household contacts of persons with confirmed infections. An additional 39 cases were identified in persons repatriated from affected areas outside the United States (1). Starting in late February, reports of cases with no recent travel to affected areas or links to known cases signaled the initiatio...
142 CitationsSource
#1Kerryann Walsh (QUT: Queensland University of Technology)H-Index: 21
#2Karen Zwi (UNSW: University of New South Wales)H-Index: 15
Last. Aron Shlonsky (University of Melbourne)H-Index: 28
view all 4 authors...
School-based programmes for preventing child sex abuse may improve knowledge and selfprotective behaviours but also increase anxiety; further research is needed. Childhood sexual abuse is a serious problem for school aged children worldwide. There is no consistent definition of sexual abuse. Some studies restrict sexual abuse to instances of sexual body contact with the child, while others define sexual abuse as any sexual behaviour in a child's presence. Whatever its form, childhood sexual abus...
162 CitationsSource
#1Kevin M. Sullivan (Emory University)H-Index: 33
#2Andrew G. DeanH-Index: 7
Last. Minn M. SoeH-Index: 13
view all 3 authors...
266 CitationsSource
Cited By2
Newest
#1Vera Clemens (University of Ulm)H-Index: 7
#2Franziska Köhler-Dauner (University of Ulm)H-Index: 1
Last. Jörg M. Fegert (University of Ulm)H-Index: 44
view all 4 authors...
The Covid-19 pandemic has been profoundly affecting nearly everybody, but families with minors have been hit particularly. Closure of schools and kindergartens, home schooling, and working from home has led to a profound upheaval in family life. Parental adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are an important determinant for parenting behaviour. Importantly, ACEs can increase the vulnerability to stress and impair coping strategies. Therefore, we aimed to assess the role of ACEs and sociodemograph...
Source
#1Hasina Samji (SFU: Simon Fraser University)H-Index: 25
#2Judy K. Wu (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 1
Last. Gaelen Snell (UBC: University of British Columbia)
view all 8 authors...
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented threat to global mental health. Children and adolescents may be more susceptible to mental health impacts related to their vulnerable developmental stage, fear of infection, home confinement, suspension of regular school and extracurricular activities, physical distancing mandates, and larger scale threats such as global financial recessions and associated impacts. Our objective was to review existing evidence of the COVID-19 pandemic'...
Source