Child abuse and maltreatment is not limited to a particular age—it can occur in the infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age years. Choose one of the four age groups and outline the types of abuse most commonly seen among children of that age.

 Topic 2 DQ 1

Child abuse is any Act of Violence either physical or emotional towards an individual under 18 years of age. Children of all age group are at risk of such forms of abusive activities. It is been estimated that globally around 1 million cases of child abuse (2 to 17 years) in form of physical, emotional and sexual violence and neglect occurred in the previous year(U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019)

Types of abuse

Physical abuse : This involves all forms of activities that cause physical or physiological harm to a child, examples are beating, biting, shaking and burning, and it’s prevalent among children of all ages.

Psychological abuse: This might involve mental torturing such as verbal abuse or terrorizing a child as well as humiliation. All these forms may cause psychological illness in the victims. Usually toddler, preschool, and school-age years are exposed to psychological forms of abuse.

Sexual abuse: This includes involving minors or children below 18 years in sexual activities. Sexual abuse includes direct and indirect sexual activities that the child may not be able to comprehend, most victim of sexual abuse are preschoolers and school age children, but rare cases of infant and toddler abuse are also reported in many countries(U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019)

Signs of abuse:

Adolescent/Child will likely exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Failing grades at school
  • Difficulties relating with others of engaging in any meaningful relationship
  • Increased incidence of theft, arrest, and violence
  • Promiscuous behaviors
  • Poor hygiene, and unkempt
  • Facial injuries with no cogent explanations
  • Abnormal weight gain or loss.Frequent elopements (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019)

Cultural variations and child abuse:

According to UNICEF 2022 data on female genital mutilation, about 200 million girls in 31 counties are victim of such practices. In some part of Africa, this form of child abuse is a norm for the female especially teenagers, the main reason for genital mutilation is preventing victims from promiscuity(UNICEF : For every child, 2020)

Nurse’s role in reporting child abuse

Any forms of child abuse must be immediately reported to the police as well as child care authorities functioning under the state government.

When a nurse suspects a child abuse, it must be immediately reported to the physician or the senior in charge nurse.

If the child is with the person suspected to be an abuser, the further assessment must be done after eliminating the person from the room.

Ensure that the child is comfortable and then a head to toe assessment must be performed.

At the time of examination it is advisable to have a witness probably from the medical profession.

A nurse must properly record the significant assessment findings suggestive of abusive activity with date and time.

In my state the Department of child welfare referral are made who will take the incident of child abuse for further investigations.(U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019)

References

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