Ottawa

CHEO seeing 'disturbing trend' of maltreatment injuries among infants

Eastern Ontario's children's hospital says it's seen an unprecedented number of infants with what doctors are calling "maltreatment injuries" in recent months, and is reminding parents frustrated by the ongoing pandemic that help is on hand.

Hospital, Children's Aid Society reminding parents help is available during pandemic

Since September, fractures and head trauma among infants have more than doubled, CHEO said Friday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Eastern Ontario's children's hospital says it's seen an unprecedented number of infants with what doctors are calling "maltreatment injuries" in recent months, and is reminding parents frustrated by the ongoing pandemic that help is on hand.

Calling it a "disturbing trend," CHEO says the number of children under one presenting with fractures and head trauma since September has more than doubled compared to the same period the previous year.

It's normal for parents to feel overwhelmed sometimes. But serious injuries can happen in just a few seconds of frustration.- Dr. Michelle Ward, CHEO

"Our community needs to be aware," CHEO said in a news release issued Friday.

"In my 16 years at CHEO, I have never seen this many infants with serious maltreatment injuries," pediatrician Michelle Ward, medical director for child and youth protection at CHEO, is quoted saying in the release. "It's a stressful time for parents and caregivers. We all know it takes a village to raise a child. With staying at home during the pandemic, it can feel like the village is gone — be reassured, it's not."

CHEO, along with the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health, is reminding parents and caregivers who are feeling stressed or isolated by the pandemic that there are resources available to help them.

CHEO seeing increase in serious injuries among infants

CBC News Ottawa

3 months ago
1:27
Dr. Michelle Ward, medical director for child and youth protection at CHEO, says the stress and isolation of the pandemic is taking its toll on parents, leading to a rise in the number of babies with serious injuries being seen at the hospital. 1:27

"Parenting is hard," Ward said. "And it's normal for parents to feel overwhelmed sometimes. But serious injuries can happen in just a few seconds of frustration.

"If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out so our community can wrap around those in need."

Anyone with concerns about a child's well-being can reach the Children's Aid Society at 613-747-7800.

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