Knowing the signs of child abuse—and recognizing its mimics—is critical for protecting children, providing appropriate medical treatment, and addressing underlying family issues that may contribute to abuse.
Early recognition saves lives
- Child abuse is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences if not addressed. Unfortunately, many cases of child abuse go unrecognized or are misdiagnosed.
- This means that children may suffer longer from the effects of their abusive environment, leading to further morbidity and mortality.
Know when it is—and when it isn’t—abuse
- The ability to recognize mimics of child maltreatment, such as lichen sclerosus presenting on the genitals, is extremely important.
- Visual diagnostic support tools such as VisualDx can help providers recognize signs and symptoms associated with child abuse so they can intervene early, before further damage occurs.
Beware of bias
- Implicit bias can lead to overreporting abuse and neglect in marginalized populations, further creating healthcare disparities and resulting in unnecessary investigations.
- Child maltreatment can occur in families of any parentage, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, or public status.
VisualDx provides resources such as images and descriptions that aid clinicians in recognizing potential signs of physical or emotional maltreatment, helping them make informed decisions about how best to care for these vulnerable patients quickly and effectively.