Child abuse is widespread and often unrecognized in our communities. Child abuse and neglect, also more generally referred to as child maltreatment, is defined as an act by a parent or caregiver that results in harm or threat of harm to a child. The 4 types of child maltreatment are physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 7 children are victims of maltreatment during childhood, and 5 children die in the United States every day as a direct result of abuse or neglect. Herein we discuss the 4 main types of child abuse and the role of the pediatrician in child abuse cases.

Pediatricians must become well versed on child abuse and neglect to screen for abuse, provide anticipatory guidance to families, identify child victims, and report maltreatment concerns to appropriate child welfare agencies. A medically focused,...

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