Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Child Maltreatment - Physical Abuse (Inpatient 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.
You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.
Surgery to treat your child's wounds, fractures, or other injuries may cause bleeding or an infection. If physical abuse is not caught or treated, your child may develop serious health and mental problems. Repeated acts of violence may lead to severe injuries and be life-threatening. Your child's behavior may change and he may also develop other serious problems. These include alcohol or drug use, depression, and problems with his self-esteem, moods, friendships, and relationships. He may even have thoughts of harming himself or others.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
A consent form is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.
At first, your child may need to rest in bed and get plenty of sleep. If he has trouble breathing or chest pain, call his caregivers right away.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.
- Pain medicine: Your child may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Watch your child for signs of pain. Do not let your child wait until his pain is severe before you ask for more pain medicine. Tell caregivers if you think your child's pain continues or gets worse.
- Tetanus shot: This medicine keeps your child from getting tetanus, and may be given if he has an open wound. Your child should have a tetanus shot if he has not had one in the past 5 to 10 years. His arm may get red, swollen, and sore from this shot.
Your child may need oxygen if his blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. Oxygen will help your child breathe easier. Your child may get oxygen through small tubes placed in his nostrils, or through a mask. He may instead be placed in an oxygen tent. Never take off your child's oxygen tubes or mask or remove him from the tent without asking his caregiver first.
- Blood and urine tests: These tests may be done to check for health problems, such as an infection.
- Neurologic signs: These are also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. During a neuro check, caregivers see how your child's pupils react to light. They may check his memory and how easily he wakes up. His hand grasp and balance may also be tested. How your child responds to the neuro checks can tell caregivers if his illness or injury has affected his brain.
- X-rays: These may be done to see if any bones have been broken or are displaced. X-rays of your child's chest and abdomen may also be taken.
- CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your child's head and body. The pictures may show injuries such as bleeding, joint dislocations, or broken bones. You child may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
- MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your child's head and body. An MRI may show injuries such as bleeding, joint dislocations, or broken bones. Your child may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the caregiver if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not let your child enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if your child has any metal in or on his body.
- Counseling: Physical abuse may cause your child to feel scared, depressed, or anxious. Your child's caregiver may suggest that your child see a counselor to help him with how he feels.
- Surgery: Your child may need surgery to treat injuries. Surgery may return bones to their normal position if your child has a broken bone. Surgery may also be needed to correct a deformity caused by his injuries.
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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.