Children of depressed mums more likely to be injured by accident

26 April 2017

Accidental injuries in young children are more likely if their mothers are experiencing depression or anxiety, a new study shows.

University of Nottingham researchers analysed hospital data for more than 200,000 children born between 1998 and 2013, from birth until their fifth birthdays. That was compared with episodes of depression and anxiety in each mother’s primary care record, as well as any prescriptions for antidepressants and anxiety medications.

They found that a quarter of mothers experienced one or more depression or anxiety episodes, and unintentional injuries – child poisonings, small fractures and minor burns – all increased at these times.

Poisonings more than doubled when mothers suffered both depression and anxiety. Children had a 52% higher poisoning rate during depression, and a 63% higher poisoning rate during anxiety. Instances of fractures and burns were also highest during combined depression and anxiety episodes.

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