Child Physical Abuse

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Advanced Topics: Child Maltreatment Theory
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Southern Arkansas University
Kimberly Keith, MEd, LPC

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Child Physical Abuse

  1. 1. PHYSICAL ABUSE Miller-Perrin, Cindy L. & Perrin, Robin. Child Maltreatment: An introduction , Chapter 3. 2007.
  2. 2. Assessment of Physical Abuse <ul><li>3 Types of Assessment of Physical Abuse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forensic Assessment (primarily medical, law enforcement, investigative child protection services) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety Assessment (primarily law enforcement, investigative child protection, family services, mental health) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychosocial Assessment (primarily family services, mental health) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Arkansas Child Maltreatment Assessment Protocol </li></ul>Forensic Assessment of Physical Abuse
  4. 4. Priority One <ul><li>CUTS, BRUISES, & WELTS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cut (laceration): An opening, incision, or break in the skin made by some external agent. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bruise (ecchymosis): An injury which results in bleeding within the skin, where the skin is discolored but not broken. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Welt: An elevation on the skin produced by a lash, blow, or allergic stimulus. The skin is not broken and the mark is reversible. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are a direct act against the child by a parent or caretaker. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This does not include an injury that is the result of a failure on the part of the parent or caretaker to safeguard the child from environmental situations that resulted in those injuries. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Priority I if the child is age 3 or under and the injury is reported by medical personnel, a medical facility, or law enforcement and involves injury to the head, face, neck or abdomen. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All other reports to be considered Priority II and referred to DCFS. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Priority One <ul><li>BONE FRACTURES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - A fracture is a broken bone. There are ten types of fractures, the most common being: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chip fracture: A small piece of bone is flaked from the major part of the bone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Simple fracture: The bone is broken, but there is no external wound. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compound fracture: The bone is broken, and there is an external wound leading down to the site of fracture or fragments of bone protrude through the skin. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comminuted fracture: The bone is broken or splintered into pieces. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spiral fracture: Twisting causes the line of the fracture to encircle the bone in the form of a spiral. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coroner fracture (metaphyseal): Caused by a pulling or jerking of an extremity. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  BRAIN DAMAGE/SKULL FRACTURE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brain damage is an injury to the large, soft mass of nerve tissue contained within the cranium/skull. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skull fracture is a broken bone in the skull. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Priority One <ul><li>BURNS/SCALDING </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Burns are any tissue injury resulting from excessive exposure to thermal, chemical, electrical, or radioactive agents. The effects vary according to the type, duration, and intensity of the agent and the part of the body involved. Burns are usually classified as: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>First degree: Superficial burns, damage being limited to the outer layer of skin. Scorching or painful redness of the skin. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Second degree or partial thickness burn: The damage extends through the outer layer of the skin into the inner layers. Blistering will be present within 24 hours. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Third degree or full thickness burn: Burns in which the skin is destroyed with damage extending into underlying tissues, which may be charred or coagulated. Skin grafting may be required. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scalding is a burn to the skin or flesh caused by moist heat and hot vapors, such as steam. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Priority One <ul><li>  SUBDURAL HEMATOMA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - Hematoma is a swelling or mass of blood (usually clotted) confined to an organ, tissue, or space and caused by a break in a blood vessel. Subdural means beneath the dura mater (the outer membrane covering the spinal cord and brain). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A subdural hematoma is located beneath the membrane covering the brain and is usually the result of head injuries or the shaking of a small child or infant. It may result in loss of consciousness, seizures, mental or physical damage, or death. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>INTERNAL INJURIES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - Internal injury is an injury which is not visible from the outside, e.g. an injury to the organs occupying the thoracic or abdominal cavities. Such injury may result from a direct blow. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A person so injured may be pale, cold, perspiring freely, have an anxious expression, or may seem semi-comatose. Pain is usually intense at first, and may continue or gradually diminish as patient grows worse. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Priority One <ul><li>IMMERSION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - Interference with a child's ability to breathe by holding the child's nose and mouth under water or other liquid. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  SUFFOCATION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - Interference with a child’s ability to breath by covering the child’s nose and mouth with a hand or other object that restricts breathing. This includes interference with breathing by choking the child, compressing the child’s chest or placing a binding material around the child’s neck </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Priority One <ul><li>DEATH </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - Permanent cessation of all vital functions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ABUSE WITH A DEADLY WEAPON </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The assault or attempt to assault an individual by inflicting a wound, or conduct that reasonably could be expected to result in a wound, or the infliction of a wound, as the direct, non-accidental action of a parent or caretaker by any object which under the circumstances in which it is used is readily capable of causing death or serious injury. This may also include using a weapon to threaten a child. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A gunshot, stabbing injury, other injuries, or the attempt to inflict such injury using any deadly weapon. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A deadly weapon is any weapon or object which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assault is conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or physical injury. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Priority One <ul><li>POISON/NOXIOUS SUBSTANCES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Poison is any substance, other than mood altering chemicals, tobacco, tobacco products or alcohol, taken into the body by ingestion, inhalation, injection, or absorption that interferes with normal physiological functions. (Almost any substance, including water, can be poisonous if consumed in sufficient quantify; therefore, the term poison usually implies an excessive amount rather than a specific group of substances. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Noxious means harmful or injurious. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  SHAKING A CHILD UNDER AGE THREE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - The parent or caretaker uses one or both hands to violently and rapidly move the body of a child under age three in a back and forth or up and down motion. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Shaken Baby Syndrome Fact Sheet. American Humane Association. </li></ul>Shaken Baby Syndrome
  12. 12. Shaken Baby Syndrome <ul><li>Medical term used to describe the injuries resulting from shaking an infant or young child. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduced in medical literature in 1972, shaken baby syndrome occurs when a child is shaken violently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>as part of an adult or caregiver’s pattern of abuse or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>because an adult or caregiver momentarily succumbs to the frustration of having to respond to a crying baby. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Children usually do not exhibit external signs of injury </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers found that if a child had normal respiration, no seizures, no facial or scalp injury, and came from an intact family, the probability that abusive head trauma would be recognized was less than one in five (Jenny, Hymel, Ritzen, Reinart & Hay, 1999). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The percentage of child injuries incurred from shaken baby syndrome is not currently known. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. What Happens? <ul><li>The sudden and repeated vigorous shaking pitches the infant or child’s brain in different directions and causes parts of the brain to pull away, tearing brain cells and blood vessels. </li></ul><ul><li>The force of shaking a child in anger and frustration is five to 10 times greater than if the child were to simply trip and fall (Jenny, et al., 1999). That force is repeated in succession as the child is being shaken. </li></ul><ul><li>Violent shaking is especially dangerous to infants and young children because their neck muscles are not fully developed and their brain tissue is exceptionally fragile. Their small size further adds to their risk of injury. </li></ul><ul><li>Injuries can include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain swelling and damage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subdural hemorrhage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental retardation or developmental delays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blindness, hearing loss, paralysis, and speech and learning difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shaken baby syndrome can have disastrous consequences for the family, the child and society. If the child survives, medical bills can be enormous. These children may require lifelong medical care for brain damage injuries such as mental retardation and cerebral palsy. The child may even require institutionalization or other types of long-term care. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why It Happens? <ul><li>Most instances of shaken baby syndrome occur because a parent or caregiver is frustrated or angry with a child, frequently when the child is crying. When a parent or caregiver shakes a crying baby, the baby may cease to cry because of the injury inflicted by the shaking (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, 2000). The caretaker may then associate such cessation with a gratifying response in that the infant ceases crying, causing the abuser to repeat the behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Less frequently, shaken baby syndrome occurs when the parent or caregiver throws a small child into the air vigorously, plays too rough or hits an infant too hard on the back, not realizing the seriousness of this behavior and the harm it can cause. Although the risk of shaken baby syndrome is lower in these situations, the danger still exists. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Priority Two <ul><li>STRIKING A CHILD ON THE FACE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - The victim child has sustained a blow to the face inflicted by a parent or caretaker with either an open hand or an object </li></ul></ul><ul><li>STRIKING A CHILD WITH A CLOSED FIST </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - The parent or caretaker has used a clenched hand to hit the child on any part of his body. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  THROWING OR KICKING A CHILD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - The parent or caretaker of the child has thrown or flung the child into an object or across a space or The parent or caretaker has used a foot to deliver a non-accidental sudden and forceful blow to any portion of the child’s body. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Priority Two <ul><li>TYING/CLOSE CONFINEMENT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unreasonable restriction of a child's mobility, actions, or physical functioning by tying the child to a fixed (or heavy) object, tying limbs together or forcing the child to remain for more than a few minutes in a closely confined area which restricts physical movement. Examples include, but are not limited to: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Locking a child in a closet. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tying one or more limbs to a bed, chair, or other object except as authorized by a </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tying a child's hands or legs together. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Priority Two <ul><li>SPRAINS/DISLOCATIONS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sprain: trauma to a joint which causes pain and disability depending upon the degree of injury to ligaments. In a severe sprain, ligaments may be completely torn. The signs are rapid swelling, heat, and disability, often discoloration and limitation of function. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discoloration: the displacement of any part, especially the temporary displacement of a bone from its normal position in a joint. Types include: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Complicated dislocation: a discoloration associated with other major injuries. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compound dislocation: a dislocation in which the joint is exposed to the external air. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Closed dislocation: a simple dislocation. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Complete dislocation: a dislocation which completely separates the surfaces of a joint. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Priority Two <ul><li>HUMAN BITES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - A bruise or cut in the skin caused by human teeth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME BY PROXY OR FACTITIOUS ILLNESS BY PROXY </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition - A form of child maltreatment in which the parent or guardian falsifies a child’s medical history or alters a child’s laboratory tests or actually causes an illness or injury in a child in order to gain medical attention for the child which may result in innumerable harmful hospital procedures. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Case Types Based on Major and Minor Injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Tracey Feild, M.A. & Amy Printz Winterfeld, J.D. Tough Problems, Tough Choices: Guidelines for Needs-Based Service Planning in Child Welfare . 2003. Casey Family Programs and The Annie E.Casey Foundation. </li></ul>Safety and Psychosocial Assessment of Physical Abuse
  20. 20. Physical Abuse with Major Injury <ul><li>Case Type 1 - Excessive corporal punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Case Type 2 - Excessive corporal punishment with rejection of the older child </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally with school-age children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk Factors? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protective Factors? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Physical Abuse with Major Injury <ul><li>Case Type 3 - The battered child </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally with pre-school age children. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case Type 4 - The serial batterer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>looks like a battered child case, but a history of the abuser reveals that the abuser has injured another child as well. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Risk Factors? </li></ul><ul><li>Protective Factors? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Physical Abuse with Major Injury <ul><li>Case Type 5 - Extreme violence directed at a specific child </li></ul><ul><ul><li>can occur with any age child, and occurs less frequently than the other case types. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case Type 6 - Violence as a way of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is a mixture of many issues, and may also include neglect. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk Factors? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protective Factors? </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Physical Abuse with Minor Injury <ul><li>Case Type 1 - Misguided attempts at education </li></ul><ul><li>Case Type 2 - Excessive corporal punishment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may be disguising a more serious case type, excessive corporal punishment with rejection of the older child, which can be a physical abuse with major injury case type. These issues should be carefully reviewed to rule out the more serious abuse case type. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk Factors? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protective Factors? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Physical Abuse with Minor Injury <ul><li>Case Type 3 - Battered Child </li></ul><ul><li>Case Type 4 - Serial Batterer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May appear as minor injury case types, but may be moving toward major injuries. Again, steps are suggested to rule out major injuries. If a child falls into Case Types 3 or 4, but only minor injuries are confirmed, the child should be monitored very closely and frequently to assure abuse does not escalate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk Factors? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protective Factors </li></ul></ul>

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