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Understanding the Causes of Child Abuse

Understanding the Causes of Child Abuse


A parent gains a great deal of responsibility when they undertake the duty of caring for a child. An infant requires a large amount of attention and care. They need constant supervision and support. It is very easy for a parent to become angry, frustrated, or stressed while caring for a child. This is one of the common causes of child abuse. A parent may be experiencing the financial, physical, and emotional strain of caring for a child.

One of the popular causes of child abuse is that a parent will become annoyed with the situation that they have found themselves in. Often, a parent will snap and take out their frustration and annoyance on their child. This usually manifests in the form of physical abuse or emotional abuse. A parent may hit or push a child because they are angry and are not considering the consequences of their actions.

An infant has the tendency to cry continuously. Crying may indicate that a child is in need of food, is tired, or needs to have their diaper changed. Many times, babies cry because they are unhappy or uncomfortable and it may be difficult for a parent to figure out what is bothering the child and why they will not stop crying. This is often one of the causes of child abuse.

The parent will become frustrated that an infant will not stop crying, and out of this frustration a parent may shake the child. This may not be intended to harm the child. However, even slightly shaking a child may result in Shaken Baby Syndrome, one of the frequent causes of child abuse in infants.

The neck muscles of an infant are not fully developed and they are not strong. A baby’s weak neck has difficulty supporting a head that is very large and heavy compared to the rest of their bodies. Because a child's head has very little support from their neck, one of the first things that an individual is told when they are going to hold a baby is to support the child's head.

An infant’s brain is not fully matured when they are born. A child's brain grows and develops over time and a brain must have room to grow inside of the skull. Because of this, when an infant is born there is a gap between the brain and the skull so that the child's brain can continue to increase in size.

A shaken baby will experience a great deal of brain trauma due to the lack of support from the child's neck, as well as the space that exists between the skull and the brain. The brain may move within the child's head and bang against the infant's skull. This may result in Shaken Baby Syndrome, which causes hemorrhages to the child's brain. Shaken Baby Syndrome is usually caused by intentional abuse, such as throwing or forcefully shaking an infant. However, in some cases, Shaken Baby Syndrome may be the result of an accident.

In rare cases, a child may suffer from the symptoms of this syndrome due to actions such as tossing a child in the air or running while carrying an infant. Normal play or lightly rocking or bouncing a child is not one of the causes of child abuse and will not result in Shaken Baby Syndrome.