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July 1971

Low Birth Weight and the Battered Child Syndrome

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

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.