Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse (Discharge Care) Care Guide
- Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse
- Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse Aftercare Instructions
- Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse Discharge Care
- Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse Inpatient Care
- En Espanol
Physical abuse of a child occurs when someone knowingly harms or places a child in danger. Physical abuse includes punching, beating, kicking, hitting, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, burning, drowning, and force-feeding. It may also include disciplining a child with physical punishment that is too much for his age or condition. Harmful force or restraints may also be considered a form of physical abuse.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Pain medicine: Your child may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give him more pain medicine.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age: Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
Injury or wound care:
If your child has injuries, ask his for information about how to take care of them.
Ice and heat:
- Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your child's injury for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- After the first 24 to 48 hours, your child's primary healthcare provider may have you use heat. Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms. Apply heat on the area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed.
Care for a child victim of physical abuse:
- Rest: Let your child rest if he needs to. Tell your child's primary healthcare provider if your child has trouble sleeping.
- Report physical abuse: It may be hard to report physical abuse in children, but it is very important. Caregivers can help your child if he is at risk for or is a victim of physical abuse. Caregivers are required by law to report physical abuse. Your child may need to leave his current living situation and placed in foster care to protect him from the abuse.
- Take your child for counseling: Physical abuse may cause your child to feel scared, depressed, or anxious. Your child's primary healthcare provider may suggest that he see a counselor to talk about how he feels.
Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if:
- Your child has new signs and symptoms since his last visit.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your child feels like hurting himself or someone else.
- Your child feels that he cannot cope with the abuse, or his recovery from it.
- Your child has trouble breathing, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.