A Ten-year Investigation of Children Death Due to Nonaccidental Injuries in Tehran
Author(s): Masoud Ghadipasha, Mehdi Mesri*, Aram Samira, Abolfazl Amiri, Alimohammad Alimohammadi, Seyed Hassan Saadat, Seyed Morteza Hosseini, Mohammad Chehrazi
Background: Child maltreatment covers a widespread spectrum of behaviours displayed to children. It refers to any neglect, omission, commission, sexual abuse, physical intentional injuries, etc. on children less than eighteen years old. These irresponsible behaviours might lead to different awful, even irreparable outcomes that would have a negative effect on the children’s future. The primary goal of this study was to investigate non-accidental, physical abuse and injuries on children less than fourteen years old which ultimately led to their death.
Methods: This study covers the duration of ten years, from 2008 to 2017, consisting of autopsy reports of all non-accidental child deaths recorded in the forensic medicine dissection hall in Tehran province of Iran. A questionnaire which contained all the information required for our study including: gender of victims, age of victims, perpetrators, mechanism of injury/ death, autopsy (cause of death), etc. of each year was designed. Autopsy reports of all children below fourteen years old that were referred to the Tehran province forensic medicine dissection hall in Iran were studied.
Results: There were a total of eighty-six deaths recorded; which resulted from child abuse under fourteen years old. Of this eighty-six, forty-four (51.2%) were boys while forty-two (48.8%) were girls. Most of the victims (thirty (34.9%)) were between the ages of 1-3 years old. The Mean age of victims was 3.65 ± 3.5; with the Median age of 2.00. Most [thirty-eight (44.2%)] of the victims’ deaths were caused by their biological fathers. A large amount [forty-three (50%)] of the deaths were caused by smothering [twenty-three (26.7%)] and beating [twenty (23.3%)] respectively. The most prevalent causes of death were smothering [twenty-three (26.7%)], and Abdominal visceral perforation [twenty (23.3%)]. Fatal child abuses rate had variation during the ten-year-study but it was constant in 2008 and 2017 [seven (8.1%), respectively].
Conclusion: It was observed that the main perpetrators of fatal child abuse were parents especially child`s biological fathers; it therefore demonstrated the necessity of finding the underlying causes of these behaviours in parents. All children who have incompetent protector should be supported by governmental welfare organizations or should be adopted by volunteer parents.