Over the past six weeks, the UC Davis Children’s Hospital has treated 8 children who were victims of abuse, four of whom died from their injuries.
Doctor Kevin Coulter is chief of child abuse and neglect at the hospital.
"It’s a very significant number and I think we haven’t had a grouping of cases quite like this this time of the year nor can I remember really within another 5 or 6 week period of time where we’ve had so many again more serious cases that have required hospital admission and care."
Coulter says they don’t know what’s causing the increase but he says intense family stress, possibly brought on by the holiday season, along with financial pressures and increased alcohol use sometimes lead to momentary lapses in self-control.
Coulter is urging families to use the hospital’s 24-hour parent support hotline designed to prevent abuse.
The Parent Support Line is: 888-281-3000.