Child Abuse: Approach and Management

KELLY COLLEEN MCDONALD, MAJ, MC.Am Fam Physician 2007;75:221-8

Child abuse is a common diagnosis in the United States and should be considered any time neglect or emotional, physical, or sexual abuse is a possibility. Although home visitation programs have been effective in preventing child maltreatment, much of the approach to and management of child abuse is directed by expert opinion or legal mandate. Any suspicion of abuse must be reported to Child Protective Services. A multidisciplinary approach is recommended to adequately evaluate and treat child abuse victims; however, the responsibility often lies with the family physician to recognize and treat these cases at first presentation to prevent significant morbidity and mortality. (Am Fam Physician 2007;75:221-8. Copyright © 2007 American Academy of Family Physicians.)