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July 1986

Neglect of Chronically Ill Children

Author Affiliations

From the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (Dr Jaudes) and the La Rabida Children's Hospital and Research Center (Dr Jaudes and Ms Diamond), Chicago. Ms Diamond is now with the office of Policy Analysis and Planning, American Medical Association, Chicago.

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(7):655-658. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140210053024

• Child neglect is the most prevalent form of maltreatment; more children die of neglect than of abuse. Neglect has been found to be more prevalent than physical abuse among the population of children with chronic illnesses. Data from a retrospective chart review illustrate the ways in which neglect affected 61 children with chronic illnesses. Types of neglect include medical care neglect, educational neglect, abandonment, emotional neglect, and physical neglect. The state Child Protection Agency was notified of neglect in 67 instances. Two children died subsequent to neglect. Sixteen children were abandoned; 12 of these children were abandoned in the hospital. More than half (37) of the reports resulted in change of custody for these children. All of these children suffered from short-term morbidity and some from long-term morbidity due to neglect. Neglect can be a serious and consequential problem for children with chronic illness.

(AJDC 1986;140:655-658)