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Indiana Child Abuse Or Neglect Deaths Up In Latest State Report

The cover of the Indiana Child Fatality Report for 2017.

The Department of Child Services reviews all child deaths where abuse or neglect was suspected. (Indiana Department of Child Services)

A new report says the number of Indiana children who died because of abuse or neglect went up, year-over-year.

The Department of Child Services reviews all child deaths where abuse or neglect was suspected. And in fiscal year 2017, that total was 65 Hoosier children. That’s up from 59 the year before.

The report found that 44 deaths were due to neglect and 21 were caused by abuse.

The most common causes were drowning or a failure to provide safe sleeping arrangements. DCS reminds parents their child should sleep on a separate surface, not in the same bed as mom or dad. And the American Academy of Pediatrics says a child can drown in as little as one inch of water.

Forty-five of the 65 fatalities involved children 3 years old or younger. It illustrates a national trend that very young children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.

Nearly half of the deaths in the report are classified as homicides; about two of every five were accidental. The causes of the others were either undetermined or suicide.

DCS was involved in the lives of one out of every five children in the report. It was one in every 20 just two years ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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