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Canadian kids’ hospital sees ‘disturbing trend’ of babies with head trauma, broken bones during lockdown

'In my 16 years at CHEO, I have never seen this many infants with serious maltreatment injuries'
Wed Feb 3, 2021 - 2:13 pm EST
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OTTAWA, Canada, February 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A children’s hospital in Ontario says that it’s seeing a “disturbing trend” of babies coming to the hospital with “fractures and head trauma” in the wake of COVID-related lockdowns across Ontario and Quebec.

“In my 16 years at CHEO, I have never seen this many infants with serious maltreatment injuries,” said Dr. Michelle Ward, pediatrician and Medical Director for Child and Youth Protection at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), in a Jan. 29 press release.

Since September, CHEO says that it has seen more than twice as many children under the age of one for “maltreatment concerns, specifically fractures and head trauma.”

“The number of infants with fractures and/or head injuries for the period from Sept. 2019 to Jan. 2020 was eight. That number rose to 20 for the period from Sept. 2020 to Jan. 2021,” CHEO said in a press release.

Ward said that it’s a “stressful time for parents and caregivers.”

“We all know it takes a village to raise a child. With staying at home during the pandemic, it can feel like the village is gone,” she said.

Children have been spending more time with parents at home due to COVID restrictions that include closures of daycares, schools, and businesses. Ontario went into lockdown on Dec. 26 and Quebec on Dec. 25.

Ward told CTV News that doctors began to notice the number of infants being brought to the hospital with what appeared to be “maltreatment” injuries.

“What we're seeing is more infants with serious injuries and in that category are fractures to the bones, which could be any of the bones of the body, or head injuries,” she said.

Ward said that the injuries they’re seeing have “likely been caused by the people looking after” the babies.

“We test for two different things – one is what kinds of injuries are present and also, could there be medical conditions that make the child susceptible to breaking a bone or having bleeding around their brain,” she told CTV News. “At the same time, we have to make a report to a child welfare agency to investigate how these injuries occurred. Unfortunately, many of them are due to maltreatment or abuse of the baby.”

CHEO’s warning about the rise of physical abuse of babies is only part of the picture of the unintended consequences of using lockdowns as a way to curb the spread of the Chinese virus.

Academics from Harvard, Duke, and Johns Hopkins universities recently released a paper in which they claimed that COVID lockdowns will result in a “staggering” one million excess deaths over the next decade-and-a-half due to a spike of health-related issues caused by unemployment.

“For the overall population, the increase in the death rate following the COVID-19 pandemic implies a staggering 0.89 and 1.37 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively,” stated the authors of the December 2020 working paper titled The Long-Term Impact of the COVID-19 Unemployment Shock on Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates.

COVID-19 restrictions have also negatively impacted the number of those who die from drug overdoses. On Friday, Toronto Public Health reported a “record number” of overdose deaths that happened in the last two months.

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“Overall, fatal suspected opioid overdose calls to paramedics were 90 per cent higher in 2020 than in 2019,” the report states.

“Preliminary data from the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario for all drug-related deaths, including opioids, shows there were 823 deaths in Toronto in 2020, which is 67 per cent higher than the 494 deaths reported in 2019. The amount of 2020 data is likely to increase as more investigations are completed.”

Ontario’s former top doctor Richard Schabas told premier Doug Ford in an open letter last month that lockdowns are “misguided efforts to control Covid” and are “only compounding the tragedy.”

Schabas pointed out that there are “significant costs to lockdowns” that are often overlooked, such as “lost education, unemployment, social isolation, deteriorating mental health and compromised access to health care.”

“Lockdown is an affront to social justice because its burdens fall disproportionately on the young, the working poor and visible minorities. We will be paying for lockdown — in lives and dollars for decades to come,” the doctor wrote.


  cheo, child abuse, children, lockdown, lockdowns

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