Child abuse, as defined by the U.S. Child Abuse and Treatment Act, is “any intentional act or failure to act by a parent or caretaker that results in a child’s death, serious physical or emotional harm, or sexual abuse or exploitation” (as cited in Pinto & Schub, 2013, p. 1). Although child victimization can occur at any age, the youngest age group, infants, are the most vulnerable and “are at greatest risk for severe injury and death from abuse” (CDC, 2010, p. 1). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), “Victims in the age group of birth to 1 year had the highest rate of victimization” in 2011 (DHHS, 2012, p. 11). Their increased vulnerability is due to their small size, inability to defend themselves, and dependability on others for shelter and food.
The most common forms of maltreatment seen in this age group, as reported by the DHHS, is neglect, which includes any failure of a caregiver to provide for the child’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, and medical care. In 2011, more than one third of the children who suffered medical neglect were younger than 3, with the most number of children under 18 months of age (DHHS, 2012). Another form of abuse
References: Barr, R. G. (2007). What is all that about crying? Bulletin of the Centre Excellence for Early Childhood Development, 6(2), 1-6. Retrieved from http://www.dontshake.org Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hoyle, B. & Frey, R. (2011). Shaken baby syndrome. In L. J. Fundukian (Ed.), Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, (4th ed.). Retrieved from NRCX http://find.galegroup.com/nrcx/start.do?prodId=NRC Lyden, C New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). (2008). Summary guide for mandated reporters in New York State. Retrieved from http://ocfs.ny.gov Pinto, S., & Schub, T Raman, S., & Hodes, D. (2012). Cultural issues in child maltreatment. Journal Of Paediatrics And Child Health, 48(1), 30-37. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02184.x Seeley, M