Suspicion of the battered child’s syndrome – a paediatrician’s nightmare?
Magdalena Czerżyńska1, Zuzanna Judyta Tyrakowska2, Patrycja Zalewska-Kurza3, Anna Wiśniewska4
1 Second-year student of the master course of Electroradiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Białystok; Student Study Group “Radioactive” at the Department of Radiology of the Teaching Hospital in Białystok, Poland. Head: Professor Urszula Łebkowska, MD, PhD
2 Second-year postgraduate student at the Faculty of Medicine with the Division of Dentistry and Division of Medical Education in English, Medical University of Białystok, Department of Radiology
of the Teaching Hospital in Białystok, Poland. Head: Professor Urszula Łebkowska, MD, PhD
3 Department of Radiology of the Teaching Hospital in Białystok, Poland. Head: Professor Urszula Łebkowska, MD, PhD
4 OASIS International Hospital, Beijing, China
Correspondence: Magdalena Czerżyńska, Towarowa 14/9, 15-007 Białystok, Poland, tel.: +48 501 540 689, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Child abuse may occur across all cultural, social and ethnic groups. Children may be abused by adults, adolescents, their own peers, and institutional workers alike. Whenever a suspicion arises concerning violence or other kind of abuse being possibly inflicted on a child, immediate thorough medical investigation is absolutely essential, and the child’s behaviour, appearance and development evaluated. Multispecialist diagnostics may be necessary, including the available imaging modalities. Abuse symptoms include abnormal patterns of child’s and parents’ behaviour, explanations concerning the injuries that are inconsistent with the actual clinical picture, delay in seeking medical attention, parents ignoring or downplaying the child’s injuries, seemingly strained relations between parents and the child. Parental attitudes that may be indicative of child abuse tend to be a result of alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or a deviation. At times, aggression or particular strictness towards the child may be observed. Whenever sexual or physical abuse is suspected, the child should immediately be referred to a hospital for further observation and accessory investigations. Relevant institutions should also be contacted and collaborated with. Child abuse seems to be on the rise, with more cases each year. Simultaneously, various social measures are undertaken aimed at ensuring assistance to the victims, and counteracting violence and abuse. It should be remembered that the treating doctor is obliged to report a suspicion of abuse taking place to the relevant authorities immediately upon taking its suspicion.