Child Maltreatment - Sexual Abuse
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Child Maltreatment - Sexual Abuse (Inpatient Care) Care Guide
- Child Maltreatment - Sexual Abuse
- Child Maltreatment - Sexual Abuse Aftercare Instructions
- Child Maltreatment - Sexual Abuse Discharge Care
- Child Maltreatment - Sexual Abuse Inpatient Care
- En Espanol
Sexual abuse of a child occurs when someone has sexual contact with anyone younger than 18 years old. It includes kissing, 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 a carer of a child may be responsible for sexual 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.
If sexual abuse is not treated, your child may develop serious health and mental problems. Sexual abuse may lead to injuries, unwanted pregnancies, and can be life-threatening. Your child's behavior may change, and he may develop other serious problems. These include alcohol or drug use, depression, and problems with his self-esteem, mood, 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. Call caregivers right away if your child has trouble breathing or chest pain.
- 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.
- Abdominal ultrasound: This test is done so caregivers can see the tissues and organs of your abdomen. Gel will be put on your abdomen and a small sensor will be moved across your abdomen. The sensor uses sound waves to send pictures of your abdomen to a TV-like screen.
- Blood and urine tests: These tests may be done to check for problems such as an infection.
- Culture and smear exam: A sample of discharge may be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Forensic tests: Hair strands and samples of stains or discharge from the skin, clothing, a blanket, or the scene of the abuse may be examined.
- Pelvic exam: Girls may need to have this exam so caregivers can check any injuries that may have resulted from the abuse.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures on a monitor. An ultrasound may be done to check for internal injuries.
- Colposcopy: This procedure uses a small scope and light on the end. It is used to see the inside of your child's vagina and cervix to check for injuries.
- Counseling: Sexual 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. Damaged tissues may be repaired if there is a wound or cut, especially in the genital area.
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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.