Sally Weale, in the Guardian, reports on the rise of baby deaths, some due to accident, during Covid times. November 2020.
The number of babies in England that have suffered serious injury through abuse or neglect during the Covid pandemic is up by a fifth on the same period last year, and eight have died from their injuries, according to Ofsted.
More than 300 “serious incident notifications” of injury and death involving children were reported by local authorities between April and October, of which almost 40% involved children under the age of one.
According to Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, more than half of those babies – 64 in total – suffered non-accidental injuries. “And sadly, eight died as a result,” she said.
The figures confirm fears among those working in children’s services about the impact of lockdown and the continuing Covid pandemic on vulnerable children, particularly babies, growing up in the most troubled families.
In a speech to the National Childrenand Adults Services conference on Friday, Spielman will say violence towards babies is not new, with more than a quarter of incidents reported to the child safeguarding practice review panel last year arising out of non-accidental injuries.
But she describes the additional strain on vulnerable families during lockdown as a “Covid pressure cooker” that has created additional risk for the youngest and most vulnerable children.
“Tighter restrictions have brought increased tensions for many, especially in the most troubled families,” Spielman will say. “We’re all spending more time at home these days. For most children, that’s a place of comfort at best, boredom at worst. But for some, sadly, it’s a source of danger.”