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Parents Are Being Wrongly Accused Of Child Abuse Because Of Rise In Vitamin D Deficiency

Sheffield Children's Hospital

Scientists are claiming that parents are being wrongly accused of child abuse because of an undiagnosed epidemic of rickets among very young children.

Rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D. In very young children, the condition can lead to breakage of bones, and can trigger fatal bleeds in the brain. Cases of the illness have soured in the past decade due poor lifestyle and diet.

It has been shockingly claimed that parents are being accused of abusing their young children, when the children are in fact suffering from rickets.

These new claims are originating from scientists from Sheffield Children’s Hospital and London’s Barts hospital. They are suggesting that in many cases parents are mistakenly being accused of hurting or shaking babies whose injuries were actually caused by rickets.

A case of this was seen recently when a couple were originally accused of murdering their son, Jayden Wray, who died at four months from head injuries. Last month the parents were cleared of murder at the Old Bailey when it was discovered that the child actually had the severe vitamin D deficiency that was passed onto him by his mother, causing him the injuries that led to his death.

Dr Irene Scheimberg, of Barts hospital, believes that the rise of rickets is leading to parents being wrongly accused of abuse.

Dr Marta Cohen, of Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said that due to this confusion, it was likely that many children suffering from rickets had wrongly been placed into foster homes because their parents had been suspected of abuse. When speaking to BBC Radio 4 she said:

“If you have bones that fracture easily they will fracture with any normal movement. Like trying to put a babygrow on a baby, you will twist the arm. ‘In a child whose bones are weakened, it’s easier for them to get these very tiny fractures or big fractures. There should be a commission that studies all of these cases, taking into account the age of these children, their gender, the race, the way in which these families live.”

Dr Cohen also believes that rickets could also be responsible for many cases of cot death, or sudden infant death syndrome, because it can cause the heart to stop beating.

The Doctor recently carried out a study involving 24 babies who had died of cot death. She interestingly found that three quarters were found to have moderate or severe vitamin D deficiency.

The Government estimates that as many as 40 per cent of Britons are deficient in vitamin D. The increase in rickets in young children has been blamed on the children spending considerably more time inside, rather than outside in the sun.




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  1. distraught mother of 5
    April 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    its discusting in this day and age innocent loving parents, have lost their babies to the state for life,plus the trauma of being treated like a criminal.secret family corrupt courts play a big part,there a national disgrace,they are the criminals or worse than.

    • April 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Yes. It is an international epidemic and families are left crippled for life. A child that has never previously experienced abuse has now been exposed to this and by the very agencies that have a public image of protecting children.

  2. RJD
    April 23, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I know doctors get it wrong. My husband fell with our 4month old girl in his arms,and now we are in the middle of a child protection case. We are been treated like criminals,we have had to move out of our family home to allow the carers to look after the girls,its making me sick our lifes are just turnrd upside down from all of this. Someone needs to sort the law and social services systeam,as accident do happen and that what our was.My heart is broken

    • May 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      I’m terribly sorry you are experiencing this tragedy. If you need assistance with your situation please email me as I can provide you with referrals to medical experts as well as medical research applicable to your case. There is nothing worse than to have ones children ripped from your arms and you know you are innocent of the horrible allegations directed at you. God bless.

  3. Tracey Whittred
    August 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

    My nephew was born at home not planned, but delivered by a paramedic only her second delivery. At 17 days old he was admitted and found to have a leg fracture and a fractured collar bone, they did a skeletal survey and found no other fractures.
    My nephew and my 2 his siblings live with me while the social services continually try to place them in foster care. When the x rays where reviewed by an expert he found 7 more factures. In the 17 days with his parents I never observed any bruising he very rearly cried and was never distressed.
    They xrayed his skull and found no damage he has a vitamin D deficiency and parathyroid increse.
    Is it possible to have temporary brittle bone disease ?? Please help.

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