Child Abuse: The Importance of Accurate Diagnosis

Child abuse researchers urge more study to improve diagnostic success.

Child abuse can be difficult to detect. The cost of missing it is high to the unaided child victim.

But the cost of mistaken-diagnoses is also high to those wrongly accused or jailed, and those wrongly ostracized.

Diagnostic tools for child abuse include:

  1. A physical examination
  2. A radiological survey
  3. Caregiver’s report of the accident
  4. Reports of the scene from those present soon after the injury occurred
  5. History from other observers

Additional indicators of child abuse include:

  • caregivers’ changing stories
  • injuries appear unrelated to explanations for them
  • confessions
  • court cases finding child abuse
  • case meetings acknowledging child abuse

Read more in this BrainBlogger article: Diagnosing Child Abuse.