Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

More Child Abuse Suspected in Minorities

Underreporting of White Parents Part of Problem
WebMD Health News

Oct. 1, 2002 -- Hospitals are more likely to look for child abuse among minority children. The finding helps explain why black and Hispanic children are more often referred to child welfare agencies -- even though national surveys show they are no more likely to be abused.

Wendy G. Lane, MD, MPH, of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues note that previous research suggests there are racial differences in abuse reporting. They set up a study to look at the situation in their own inner-city hospital.

Their study, reported in the Oct. 2 issue of TheJournal of the American Medical Association, examined medical records for children younger than 3 years who were hospitalized between 1994 and 2000 for skull injuries or broken bones.

The findings: suspected abuse reports were more than twice as common for minority children. These reports were filed for more than one in two minority kids, but for fewer than 1 in 4 white kids. Though actual abuse was found for more of the minority children, it did not explain the size of this difference.

"These results are concerning, but not surprising, as a number of other studies have identified differences in health-care provision between minorities and non-minorities," Lane and colleagues write.

To look at what might be happening, a senior medical student removed information on race, income, and insurance status from the children's records. Then an independent expert on child abuse evaluated the records to see whether the children should be given a skeletal exam to look for signs of abuse.

For almost all cases where it wasn't clear how the child was injured, the expert recommended the skeletal exam. In practice, 29 of 34 minority children in this category -- but only 9 of 23 white children -- got this test.

"It is quite possible that cases of abuse were overlooked in white children because no study was performed," the authors note.

All three National Incidence Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect have found no racial differences in actual maltreatment of children. Nevertheless, black and Hispanic children are more likely to be sent to child welfare services.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy