Risk of Abuse

A high index of suspicion is needed to make a diagnosis concerning any form of abuse. The highest percentage of child abuse occurs between birth and 2 years of age [1].

Children most at risk of abuse include:

  • Firstborns
  • Unplanned births
  • Premature children
  • Stepchildren

Children with an increased risk of abuse include:

  • Children in a single-parent home
  • Children of parents who abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Children of parents who were themselves abused
  • Children of unemployed parents
  • Children of families of lower economic status
  • Children of parents who have a history of psychiatric illness

Children of all socioeconomic backgrounds can suffer physical abuse or neglect.