9: Recognition of Physical Abuse

Please note that section 9.8 (Abusive abdominal and visceral injuries) of this chapter was updated in May 2019 and has replaced the previous 2013 version. The remainder of the chapter is currently being updated in line with the RCPCH Child Protection Systematic Reviews. For information on when the next update is due, please contact the PCO UK Team.

9.1.1. This chapter provides a guide to the features of childhood injury that should raise suspicion of physical abuse and the assessment and investigations that should be performed to determine the likelihood of physical abuse.
9.1.2. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Child Protection Evidence systematic reviews, formerly Core-info (Cardiff Child Protection Systematic Reviews), provide a summary of the scientific evidence to complement this chapter and are updated on a regular basis. The systematic reviews relevant to this chapter can be found at https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/key-topics/child-protection/evidence-reviews.
9.1.3. The following chapter uses the terminology of unintentional injury when referring to accidental injury in reference to current accepted international terminology.
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