By Gary M. White, MD
A hot water burn brought up the question of child abuse in this infant.
Child abuse may take many forms. Some of them manifest themselves in the skin.
When the patient is a child or infant and the history does not fit the clinical picture, abuse should be considered. Do different family members tell different stories? Was there a delay in seeking medical attention? Have other "accidents" happened before? Is the child afraid of certain individuals? Does s/he not want to go home? Is there overly sexualized behavior or use of explicit sexual language that's inappropriate for the child's age?
Local regulation usually require the authorities to be notified in cases of suspected child (or elder) abuse.
Unusual bruising in children. Courtesy O. Dale Collins, MD
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