More Children Dying at Christmas a Myth

INDIANAPOLIS, June 22 (UPI) — The anecdotal notion that more young children are killed during the winter months, or winter holidays, has been debunked, U.S. researchers said.

Study leader Dr. Antoinette Laskey, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed death certificate data from Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma and Washington.

The study, published online ahead of the July print issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, found children to be equally at risk of homicide death during any month of the year.

“The seasonality of child abuse is clearly a myth,” Laskey said in a statement. “We looked at the statistics of fatalities related to child abuse in geographically disparate states to see whether or not there were any patterns and there were none. As we noted in our study, it is possible that the reason child abuse is believed to increase during the holidays is because an abused child seen on a memorable day like Christmas may be easier for a healthcare provider to recall because of the association with the holiday.”

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