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Article
July 1971

Low Birth Weight and the Battered Child Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Canada
From the Department of Pediatrics, McGill University, and the Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Stern is a Queen Elizabeth II Scientist for Research in Disease of Children.

Am J Dis Child. 1971;122(1):15-18. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1971.02110010051005
Abstract

Fifty-one cases of battered child syndrome seen over a period of nine years at the Montreal Children's Hospital were reviewed to explore the possibility that low birth weight predisposes to this condition. Of these 51 infants, 12 (23.5%) were low birth weight infants; the expected low birth weight rate based on the Quebec perinatal figures is 7% to 8%. Associated with these instances of battering of former low birth weight infants was a high degree of isolation and separation of infant from the parents in the newborn period (mean hospital stay, 41.4 days) and a strong history of deprivation in the maternal history and in the child prior to battering. Suggestions are made for early detection and intervention.

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