‘It’s Hard to Think That It’s Just Coincidental’

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Doctors at a children’s hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, have sounded the alarm over concerns about a rise in alleged child abuse cases amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In the span of one week, doctors at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth said they saw at least six cases of apparent physical abuse against children, with one of those cases resulting in death.

In an interview with NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth, Dr. Jayme Coffman, the medical director of the CARE team at the Cook’s Children Hospital, said that, typically, the hospital sees around eight cases in a month.

“Thursday night, we had one child admitted with unfortunately, life-threatening injuries, which they succumbed to, as well as four other children in the emergency department at the same time who were treated and released,” Coffman said. All of the children, the doctor said, were six-years-old or younger.

With many families under significant stress in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the doctor suggested that there could be a potential link between the coronavirus pandemic and the apparent surge in reported child abuse cases.

“There’s no way for us to directly link that, but that’s the concern,” Coffman said.