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Child homicide is a significant public health problem in America. In 2005, homicide was the fourth leading cause of death in both the 1- to 4-year-old and 5- to 14-year-old age groups. (1) Most young children who are homicide victims are killed by a parent. Of American children younger than 5 years of age who were murdered over the 30-year period from 1976 to 2005, 31% were killed by their fathers or stepfathers, and 29% were killed by their mothers or stepmothers. (2) Of the 40% not killed by a parent, most were killed by male acquaintances. The average number of children up to 5 years of age known to be murdered by their parents in the United States was 344 per year (range, 246 to 426). (2) Underestimations of death rates, however, pervade the...

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