Physical child abuse is a serious problem. Here are some facts:
HELP AN ABUSED CHILD
Learn about the signs of child abuse. Recognize when a child might be abused. Get early help for abused children.
If you think a child is being abused, contact a health care provider, the police, or child protective services in your city, county or state.
Other types of child abuse are:
PHYSICAL CHILD ABUSE
Physical child abuse is when a person physically hurts a child. The abuse is not an accident. Here are some examples of physical child abuse:
SIGNS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE
Signs of physical abuse in a child include:
Other signs include unexplained injuries or a strange explanation of injuries, such as:
Warning signs that an adult that may be abusing a child:
GETTING HELP FOR THE CHILD AND FAMILY
The child may need medical treatment and counseling. Abused children can be seriously hurt. Children may also have emotional problems.
Counseling and support groups are available for children and for abusive parents who want to get help.
There are state and other government departments or agencies that are responsible for the protection of children younger than age 18. Child protection agencies usually make a decision whether the child should go into foster care or can return home. Child protection agencies generally make every effort to reunite families when possible. The system varies from state to state, but usually involves a family court or a court that handles child abuse cases.
Battered child syndrome; Physical abuse - children
Berkowitz CD, Stewart ST. Child maltreatment. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 66.
Dubowitz H, Lane WG. Abused and neglected children. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 37.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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