BOISE - A new report by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare shows a 9 percent increase in the number of cases of life-threatening injury suffered by children reported last year.
The data released Tuesday shows the biggest leap in severe child abuse cases coming from southwest Idaho. The report tracks a 15 percent increase in the Nampa/Caldwell area and a 13 percent spike in Boise compared to 2009.
State officials did not identify specific reasons for the increase in those serious cases. But they suspect the stress of increased poverty and unemployment may be a factor.
The agency tallied more than 7,500 total reports of child abuse or neglect in Idaho last year, a total on par with 2009. Of those, 1,730 cases involved children in imminent danger, up from 1,594 reported in 2009.