Increase in Child Abuse in Illinois- 2012 Statistics Show
In a recent article, Mt. Vernon Register-News states that neglect or abuse contributed to the deaths of 90 children in 2012, not including 60 recently reported deaths still under investigation.
Child deaths due to abuse and/or neglect occurred in all parts of the state equally, including Chicago, the suburbs, and downstate Illinois, according to a report by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS).
Almost half of these deaths were due to suffocation caused by unsafe sleeping conditions, reports state.
“Most deaths occurred when parents, ignoring the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and safety experts, slept with a newborn or infant in their bed, rolling over on the child in the night and smothering her or him,” the report from DCFS states. “In other instances, parents ignored safety warnings and allowed a newborn or infant to sleep with a blanket, on an adult mattress or couch, or on their stomachs, suffocating the child. Although the deaths might have been accidental, Illinois law holds parents and other caretakers accountable for creating a substantial risk of injury to a child, and DCFS indicates perpetrators for neglect.”
The article goes on to describe how one should put a baby to bed: alone, on its back, and in a crib with no blankets or objects that could cause suffocation.
Based on reports, two most dangerous activities for parents are heavy drinking and marijuana use that cause them to fall asleep unexpectedly with their baby.
Deaths resulting from intentional abuse and injury were the second leading cause of child death in 2012.
“Even when the child is not the direct victim (of domestic violence) they may be at risk,” said a DCFS spokesperson. “Another warning sign is any signs of bruises or other injuries particularly on a child under the age of six months.”
He added that children being dressed in long sleeves in warm weather or isolated children — if someone has a child and they are not seen outside the home — are also warning signs of abuse.
Child neglect and domestic abuse is unfortunately a growing trend according to reports, if you or somebody you know in the Kane County Area is aware of ongoing abuse, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney today.