The number of shaken children doubled in the Paris region during Covid, according to a study

The number of shaken children doubled in the Paris region during Covid, according to a study

The number of shaken children doubled in the Paris region during Covid, according to a study

The incidence of shaken baby syndrome has doubled and its mortality has increased ninefold in the Paris region during the Covid-19 pandemic, reveals a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

The research groups of the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital of the AP-HP and of the Paris Cité University, associated with a team of Inserm, have analyzed the evolution of the incidence and severity of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) in children Ile-de-France during the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic (the 2020-2021 period) compared to the pre-pandemic period (the 2017-2019 period).

SBS is the most severe form of child abuse and neglect and the most common cause of traumatic death among children in high-income countries. Non-lethal forms of SBS are associated with severe long-term morbidity such as neurodevelopmental disorders (epilepsy, motor and visual impairments, speech disorders, intellectual disabilities and behavioral abnormalities) resulting in permanent disability.

In all, 99 children with SBS were included in the study. For all these children the signs of severity of the inflicted violence were very frequent: 87% had a rupture of the bridge veins (which connect the brain to the internal wall of the skull), 75% retinal haemorrhages, 32% fractures, 26% status epilepticus and 13% died.

Compared to the pre-pandemic period (2017-2019), the incidence of SBS remained stable in 2020 and then doubled in 2021 and its mortality was multiplied by 9, the study reveals. Concerns were expressed very early by the scientific, medical and social community about a risk “explosionthe incidence of child abuse and neglect, including SBS, following the Covid-19 pandemic and containment measures, the study authors recall.

For the research groups, the fact that this massive increase in BSS did not occur during the first year of the pandemic, when containment and mitigation measures were at their peak, but during the second year, could be explained by an accumulation of distress. psychosocial.

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