Early Detection of Child Abuse Screening
From 2007 to 2011, 36 children died from child abuse while being treated at Cook Children’s Medical Center (CCMC). Most of the children were age 6 months to 3 years and died from abusive head trauma (1).Up to 75% of children who die from child abuse have evidence of prior abuse(2). For every child less than 2 years old who is identified as an abusive head trauma victim, 152 go undetected (3). Using screening protocols can increase the early detection of child abuse by 180% (4). Early detection of child abuse and early intervention can prevent fatal injuries from occurring.
We are in the process of developing an interdisciplinary training focusing on screening for early signs of child abuse. The audience will be healthcare providers including prehospital, first responders, emergency department staff as well as pediatricians and midlevel providers. The training component is almost complete and we are in the process of developing the measurement tool.
In Tarrant County we average approximately 2 – 3 infant deaths per month which can be attributed to unsafe sleep conditions.
This task force has now begun to collect data related to infants dying from unsafe sleeping conditions. Detailed data is still being acquired and multidisciplinary strategies are being considered. Our plan to develop a unified community campaign advocating Safe Sleeping Conditions for all infants and educating parents of the dangers associated.