London hospital sees spike in child abuse during lockdown

A major London children’s hospital registered a 15-fold increase in the number of apparent child abuse cases it dealt with during the COVID-19 lockdown compared to previous years, researchers reported Thursday.

From March 23 to April 23 — corresponding to the height of self-isolation rules — the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children saw 10 infants ranging in age from two weeks to 13 months diagnosed with “abusive head trauma”.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the hospital reported an average of only 0.67 child abuse cases over the same time period each year, Jai Sidpra from the London Medical School and four doctors from Great Ormond reported in Archives of Disease in Childhood, a medical journal.

Clinical examinations revealed symptoms including bleeding in the eyes,…

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