A six-month-old boy was fighting for his life last night after being rushed to hospital with head injuries in what police suspect to be a case of child abuse.
The infant was taken to the emergency unit at Tuen Mun Hospital on Friday afternoon by his nanny after he fell unconscious at her home in Tai Hing Gardens in Tuen Mun.
The 30-year-old woman was arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of child abuse. She was later released on bail and must report back to police next month. No charges had been laid.
Police were called after medical staff discovered head injuries and bleeding on the child's brain. The baby was in critical condition in intensive care.
The Social Welfare Department handled 230 cases of child abuse between January and March this year, and a total of 963 cases last year. More than half of the cases involved the children's parents.
Physical abuse accounted for half of the abuse cases and about 35 per cent were cases of sexual abuse, according to government statistics.
Some 262 reports of child cruelty were also received last year.
Child abuse in the city is on the rise, said Jessica Ho Oi-chu, director of Against Child Abuse. Most cases involve children aged between three and 11, she said.
"Physical abuse is still the main problem - and most of it is inflicted by the children's carers," Ho said. "It's usually when people are unable to control or deal with their emotions."
Ho urged parents or carers who may be having problems that affect their ability to take care of children to seek help.
"Sometimes it's not deliberate. Sometimes anger can cause an overreaction - like shaking a baby or beating a child - which can cause permanent damage or even be life-threatening for the child," she said.