Men Most Likely to Hurt Children, Minnesota Study Finds

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men hurt children

Minnesota Public Radio reports men are behind most of the fatal and near-fatal injuries of infants. Credit: Getty Images

People who hurt, even kill, children often have something in common.

They're men.

Minnesota Public Radio reports members of the state's Child Mortality Review Board examined more than 200 preventable deaths of children between 2005 and 2009, and found men to be behind most of fatal and near-fatal intentional injuries, as well as some explained drownings, suicides and infant deaths.

Many of the men were fathers, stepfathers or mothers' boyfriends entrusted with the children. Minnesota Public Radio reports the study could bring men more attention from child protection workers.

Female caregivers, however, were more likely than men to neglect children, Erin Sullivan Sutton, assistant commissioner for children and family services for the state Department of Human Services, tells Minnesota Public Radio.

But it's still men who are more likely to out and out abuse kids.

Minnesota Public Radio reports 51 percent of the offenders who lived in the same household as the child were unemployed, often abused alcohol or drugs and half of the incidents involved children younger than 1.

Sullivan Sutton tells Minnesota Public Radio adults are often frustrated and angry by a child's crying, feeding, sleeping or toileting problems.

"We see kids are crying because they're hungry, kids are crying because they have soiled diapers and that crying is what triggers the violence," Sullivan Sutton says, adding it falls to mothers to make sure they are leaving their children in safe hands. "If mom knows that a caregiver or potential caregiver has a potential for violence, has hit her or hit somebody else then she shouldn't leave the baby with that individual. If the person doesn't have experience caring for infants, that's not a good situation."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.