Seventeen children have been treated for gunshot injuries at Red Cross Children’s Hospital since the start of the year, while over 250 others have been treated for incidents involving violence, abuse or neglect.
Hospital spokesperson Dwayne Evans said the numbers and severity of cases have increased over the past 25 years.
A total of 273 children were treated between January and May, after suffering various forms of violence.
Evans revealed that in most cases, the perpetrator is someone the child knows and trusts. He said boys are just as vulnerable as girls.
The hospital, over the past five months has recorded 88 cases of physical abuse, 66 of neglect, 45 of sexual abuse, 22 of burns, 18 for dog bites, 11 of a child being at risk, and six of abandonment.
Among the cases referred to the hospital is that of a 5-year-old boy from Bonteheuwel who was shot five times in March. He survived, News24 previously reported.
He and a friend had been playing in the front yard of his home when they were caught in suspected gang-related crossfire.