Dozens of kids intentionally injured by parents annually

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swing. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/SSgt Caroline Hayworth

Every year dozens of children are deliberately injured by one of their parents, often being poisoned with medicine. According to the Association of Confidence Doctors, the tackling of this problem leaves a lot to be desired.

This is according to research done by Brandpunt Reporters. Parents suffering from the disease Munchhausen by Proxy will make their child sick or claim that the child is ill, resulting in the children spending a lot of time in hospitals, undergoing major examinations and sometimes even surgeries. Munchhausen by Prosy most commonly affect mothers.

According to official figures, an average of 60 children are made sick by their parents every year. But experts believe that the actual number may be much higher. "I think the actual number of victims is ten times as high." confidence pediatrician Ann-Amrie Raat of Veilig Thuis in Utrecht told Brandpunt. "There is a lot that we do not see.

Doctors often do not realize that they are being manipulated by a parent with Munchhausen by Proxy. "We are trained to believe parents, they want what's best for their children", said Rian Teeuw, pediatrician at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. "If you discover that you are being lied to, you feel like a co-abuser."

The Ministry of Health and the Public Prosecutor has organized a first expert meeting to identify the problems surrounding Munchhausen by Proxy in the summer. The meeting will address how to improve identifying and acting upon Munchhausen by Proxy and whether more extensive psychiatric examination is necessary, the Ministry of Health told the television program. They will also shorten the lines between confidence doctors, pediatricians and forensic doctors so that they can communicate signs of child abuse, and therefore also Munchhausen by Proxy, more quickly between each other.

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