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Is It Child Abuse?

Possible Choking Injury: Child Abuse—or Mimic?

A mother presented to the ED with her 3-year-old child asking about an upper respiratory infection and an incidental wound around the child’s neck. The child’s father, with whom the child had recently visited, had told the mother that the child had been choked by a dog leash during the visit. Was this child abused?

Is It Child Abuse?

How good are your hunches when it comes to cases of possible child abuse? Can you determine which cases need to be reported to Child Protective Services and which require a medical diagnosis? See how well you do with the 5 cases presented here.

Rib fractures suggest abuse and are a lone finding in 29% of skeletal injury cases.

Rib fractures suggest abuse and are a lone finding in 29% of pediatric skeletal injury cases.

This child's mother was worried that these lesions were sexually transmitted. What's your suspicion?

The mother of this 4-year-old girl was concerned that these lesions were sexually transmitted. The physician recognized them as molluscum, but was uncertain of the potential relationship of this rash to child abuse.

The ophthalmologist was not able to rule abuse in or out based on his examination because of the number of retinal hemorrhages seen.

This is a case of non-abuse: the foreign body was an attempt at self-stimulation.


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