Which Findings May Suggest Physical Abuse?


  • Feyza Koç
  • Oya Halıcıoğlu
  • Sadık Akşit

Received Date: 08.12.2011 Accepted Date: 26.01.2012 J Pediatr Res 2014;1(1):1-5

Child abuse is an important public health problem in all countries in the world and was first described by John Caffey in 1946. Child abuse is classified as physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. World Health Organization estimates that about 31.000 children in the world under 15 years of age die every year because of child abuse. The frequency of child abuse has been reported as 16.3/1000 and 35% of them are re-abused. If the cases of child abuse are not recognized in the health care centers, about 5% to 10% of them die. Physical abuse is described as any inflicted trauma, directed to the child by a caretaker, which resulted in harm or potential harm. Physical abuse is especially prevalent in children younger than 3 years of age. The ecchymoses, bite marks, fractures, internal organ and head injuries are generally seen in cases of physical abuse. Because these findings may also occur in childhood accidents, the differential diagnosis of physical abuse is important. The symptoms and signs of physical abuse should be well recognized by the health care providers to diagnose and prevent children from further abuses.

Keywords: Child abuse, signs and symptoms, early diagnosis

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