What are the signs of physical child abuse?

Updated: Apr 24, 2017
  • Author: Angelo P Giardino, MD, MPH, PhD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

Physical indicators that should raise suspicion for maltreatment include the following:

  • Injury pattern inconsistent with the history provided

  • Multiple injuries/multiple types of injuries

  • Injuries at various stages of healing

  • Poor hygiene

  • Presence of pathognomonic injuries, including loop marks; forced immersion burn pattern; and classic abusive head trauma findings of subdural hematoma, retina hemorrhage, and skeletal injuries


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