Research Estimates 1.4 Million Children Have Yearly Violence-Related Medical Visits
A national report from the University of New Hampshire shows close to one and a half million children each year visit a doctor, emergency room or medical facility as a result of an assault, abuse, crime or other form of violence. This is four times higher than previous estimates based only on data from U.S. emergency rooms for violence-related treatment.
In their study, recently published on JAMA Network Open, researchers from UNH’s Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) used survey information from a representative sample of 8,503 children and youth from across the country, ages two to 17 years, as part of a series of nationwide studies in 2011 and 2014.
They found that while the majority of those needing medical attention for violence exposure were teens, one third were under the age of 10. The rate of past-year medical visits due to violence exposure was 1.9% which is equivalent to a national estimate of 1.4 million children and teens. Previous estimates based on data obtained only from emergency rooms were 340,000 visits, which reflects a severe undercount of violence-related medical treatment for children.