SWK 490 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Child Neglect, Physical Abuse, Buttocks

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Child Maltreatment Class Notes 10/14
1
Child Maltreatment:
Any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that
results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.
Child neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment. Child physical abuse is the
second most common form of child maltreatment.
Acts of Commission:
Words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child.
Deliberate and intentional acts of commission can be found in:
o Physical abuse
o Sexual abuse
o Psychological/Emotional abuse
Physical Abuse:
Any non-accidental physical injury to a child
Hitting, kicking, punching, beating, stabbing, biting, pushing, shoving, throwing, pulling,
dragging, dropping, shaking, strangling/choking, smothering, burning, scalding, and
poisoning.
Potential Indicator of Physical AbuseBruises
Bruises can be in various stages of healing
Pattern injury
Importance of location varies with age
Generally, the most common areas of non-abusive bruising for cruisers and walkers are
on the anterior tibia and knee
Accidental bruises on infants are unusual on:
Ears
Soft part of cheek
Neck
Inner thighs/genitals
Trunk
Buttocks
Hands/feet
< 6 monthsextremely rare
6-9 monthsuncommon
Chronology of Bruises
There is no definitive way to determine chronologyambient light, depth, and skin color
can change appearance of a bruise
Potential Indicators of Physical AbuseBites
Adult vs. Child
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Child Maltreatment Class Notes 10/14
2
Human vs non-human
Considered the only physically abusive injury that can potentially identify a suspect
Identification can be obtained from DNA, dental characteristics, and cross infection
Animal bites usually tearHuman bites compress
The most common reported bites received by children are from animals
Photos should be taken at the time of investigation and later after swelling has subsided
Potential Indicators for Physical AbuseBurns
Accidental:
Inflicted
Splash marks
Few splash marks
Varying depth of burn
Uniform depth of burn
Indistinct, irregular borders
Very distinct borders (stocking and glove)
Head, face, arms, and upper torso
Buttocks, perineum, extremities
Burns in flexion creases
Characteristics spared areas (flexion creases,
doughnut pattern, hand patterns)
Shaken Baby Syndrome:
Abusive head trauma
Defined by:
o Bleeding over the surface of the brain (subdural hematomas)
o Bleeding at the back of the eyes (retinal hemorrhages)
Immediate symptoms can include lethargy, vomiting, poor feeding, seizures
Why is it so harmful?
Baby’s head is big and heavyabout 1/4 of the entire body
Weak neck muscles
SBS is. . .
Not caused by birth, CPR, or genetic disorders
Not caused by car accidents, falls, tossing in the air, or rough play
Not always seen with visible bruises
Caused by violent, forceful shaking
Often preventable through education
Activities That Do Not Cause SBS
Falling off furniture or a counter
Being bounced or jogged on an adult’s knee
Being carried in a backpack while the caregiver jogs or runs
Being tossed up in the air and caught
Launching forward in a car seat when a driver stops the car suddenly
Shaken Child Profile
Most victims are less than one year old
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