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Child Maltreatment - Sexual Abuse

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Sexual abuse of a child occurs when someone has sexual contact with anyone younger than 18 years old. It includes kissing that is not appropriate, showing genitals to the child, fondling the child's genitals, showing sexual materials, or using force to have sex. Sexual exploitation, which includes child prostitution and pornography, is also sexual abuse. Parents, guardians, foster parents, relatives, or someone who cares for the child may be responsible for sexual abuse.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • Medicines may be given to decrease the child's pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give the child more pain medicine.

  • Give the child's medicine as directed. Contact the child's primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if the 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 the child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

  • Do not give aspirin to children younger than 18 years old. The child could develop Reye syndrome if he or she takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check the child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.

Follow up with the child's PHP as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

Wound care:

Ask the child's PHP for information about how to take care of the child's wounds.

Care for a child victim of sexual abuse:

  • Let the child rest if he or she needs to. Tell the child's caregiver if the child has trouble sleeping.

  • Report sexual abuse. It may be hard to report child sexual abuse, but it is very important. Caregivers can help the child if he or she is at risk for or is a victim of sexual abuse. Caregivers are required by law to report sexual abuse. The child may need to leave a current living situation and be placed in foster care to protect him or her from the abuse.

  • Take the child for counseling. Counseling may help the child to feel less scared, depressed, or anxious. The child's PHP may suggest that the child see a counselor to talk about how he or she feels.

Contact the child's PHP if:

  • The child is sad or depressed most of the time, or frightened of other people.

  • The child has new signs and symptoms since his or her last visit.

  • You have questions or concerns about the child's condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • The child feels that he or she cannot cope with the abuse, or recovery from it.

  • The child has blood or foul-smelling discharge coming from his or her genital area.

  • The child has problems sleeping, urinating, or having bowel movements.

  • The child has trouble breathing, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat.

  • The child feels like hurting himself or herself, or someone else.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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