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More Louisiana children died in 2009 from abuse than from traffic accidents, drowning or other causes

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Written by
Alison Bath
alisonbath1@gannett.com

From: Shreveport Times.com

Seven Louisiana children died in 2009 from H1N1 flu. Those deaths, along with other statewide H1N1 fatalities, were noted in at least 40 Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals news releases. The public briefings also included a variety of H1N1 information, such as tips on how to avoid the flu.

That same year 43 of the state’s children died as a result of abuse or neglect. Their deaths ā€” aside from first-day newspaper and broadcast coverage ā€” largely went unnoticed. There weren’t any updates on the numbers of children who were killed by their parents, step-parents or other caregivers. No regular information about how to spot or report abuse was publicized.

While some issues, such as the anticipated 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, captivate the American public and command sizeable attention, child abuse doesn’t.

The deaths of those Louisiana children and another 1,633 nationwide garnered scant notice in the same year that the flu, a salmonella outbreak and war deaths dominated headlines.

For example, in 2009, there were 27 deaths nationwide as a result of traffic crashes caused by suspected Toyota accelerator malfunctions. Those fatalities, which involved victims of all ages, prompted recent congressional hearings as well as the president of Toyota being summoned to Capitol Hill.

Nearly 1,700 children across the country died in 2009 from abuse and neglect. Yet, there were no congressional hearings. No task force was established to study the problem.

“We’ve been asking for hearings on child abuse deaths for over a year,” said Kimberly Day of the Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths. “Congress had hearings on NFL head injuries and Toyota deaths but not a hearing on something that has many, many more deaths than those other things they chose to focus on.”

That will soon change. U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Michigan, recently announced he would sponsor a hearing this summer on fatalities related to the child welfare system, a House Committee on Ways and Means spokesman said. No date has been set.

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Written by demon53

May 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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