Child abuse is a worldwide problem that affects children of all age group. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2018, most cases of child abuse in the pre school age group are neglect, followed by physical and sexual abuse. Some children may be affected by a combination, meaning that a child might be victim of both physical and neglect at the same time. Sexual abuse may include fondling, genital and anal intercourse or oro- genital contact, (AAA 2018). Neglect may include failure to provide food, shelter, clothing, inadequate health care or even emotional support to the child. Physical abuse may include injuries resulting from the child being hit, burnt or any other physical activity that results in injury to the child, (AAP 2018).
Some warning signs may include the care giver delay in seeking medical care for an injured child, or showing no concerned for the injuries sustained by the child, burn to the genitalia, bruises to the child’s body, sometimes these are frequent with no explanation as to how the child got the injuries or the explanation is contradictory to the type of injury, (McCalla, G. D., 2018). McCalla 2018 further stated that when a child is observed to be identified with unacceptable behaviors such as undressing in front of others, touching other children’s genitalia or always trying to look at other person undressing, these may be cues to assess for abuse. Signs of neglect may include the child being dirty and unkept, poor hygiene, especially poor dental hygiene with extensive dental caries, the child may be malnourished with them being very small for their age.
There are some cultural variations of health practices that can be mistaken for child abuse. One such practice is moxibustion, which is a cultural healing practice originating in Asian medicine. It involves burning pieces of moxa herb and putting it on the skin above the acupuncture points, until there is pain. This results in small round lesion that may be mistaken for cigarette burns. This practice is used to treat abdominal pain and fever. (McCalla, G. D., 2018).