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Child Abuse
The age group of choice is school aged years. The types of abuse that are most often seen in this age group are physical abuse and sexual abuse. Any intentional bodily harm inflicted on a child is physical abuse. It may occur due to burning, beating, biting, punching or poisoning, among other factors. Within this age group, it mainly results from excessive discipline by caregivers. It often leads to cuts, burns, bruises or broken bones. The effects are long-lasting and may result in death in severe cases. Sexual abuse, on the other hand, includes any form of sexual advances, be it by touching, by intercourse or by exposing children to sexual materials. Both physical and sexual abuse can happen concurrently, and the effects may extend to adulthood.
Warning signs that a nurse may see that could indicate child abuse include behavioral abnormalities. In this case, the nurse does not ignore inappropriate behavior by assuming it is mere disobedience. Fear and difficulty in expressing emotions, withdrawal and isolation, stranger anxiety, physical injuries, scars, missing hair and excessive crying, among others, are the findings to look out for during physical and emotional assessments. Inappropriate clothing and uncomfortable movement may also be indicators.
Cultural variations of health practices that can be misidentified as child abuse include dermabrasion therapy (Davis, 2000). Although it used to treat illnesses, it is often mistaken for child abuse since it involves peeling of skin. Hitting a child who has been chocked very hard on the back may also be misidentified as physical abuse. The reporting mechanism of abuse in New York includes calling 911, reporting to the New York State Central Register (SCR) or contacting the New York Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Nurse responsibilities related to reporting include informing caregivers if...

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