US Leads “Developed” World in Child Abuse Death Rate

“The United States leads the developed world in child-abuse deaths, according to the organization Every Child Matters. More than 20,000 American children have died over the past decade in their own homes because of family members, with about 75% being under four years of age and nearly half being under one. The U.S. child-maltreatment death rate is three times higher than Canada’s and 11 times that of Italy.

“The group attributes this unfortunate record to a number of factors, including the U.S.’s higher rates of teen pregnancy, dropping out of high school, violent crimes, imprisonment and poverty. In addition, Americans are less likely than citizens of other rich countries to have easy access to social services such as child care, parental leave and health insurance. Some observers also blame the well-intended, but often tragic emphasis in the United States on keeping families together even if a child may be in danger.”