Generally, child abuse is neglecting or maltreating a child physically or psychologically. Child abuse may include failure to act by caregiver or parent which may result in injury or emotional harm to a child. There are different age groups, and they often face different types of child abuse. For this assignment, I have chosen to discuss the type of abuse faced by children at the preschool age. Children at this age often face physical, neglect and emotional abuse. Physical abuse entails beating, burning, biting, shaking, and strangling. Negligence may include poor attention by the parent or caregiver on the child health and basic needs. Emotional abuse entails exposing the child to various issues that cause psychological harm to them.
There are various warning signs that preschoolers show an indication of child abuse. The emotional signs include poor sleeping habits which may be characterized by nightmares or bad dreams, withdrawal from peers, depression, reluctant to leave school, loss of self-confidence, loss of interest in school activities, headaches without medical cause, attempts of running away, changes in behavior such as aggression, anger, etc. The physical signs of child abuse include unexplained injuries and bruises, untreated medical problems, frequent bed wetting, and injuries that do not match with the kind of explanation given (Peterson et al., 2003). The signs of neglect include frequent signs of poor hygiene, poor growth, and lack of proper physical needs like clothing. Nurses can observe some of these signs easily during the assessment especially because preschoolers who are being abused tend to react in an abnormal way like being aggressive to adults.
However, there are some cultural variations of health practices that may be misidentified as child abuse. There are some cultures that have certain beliefs that could cause bruises that may be confused with signs of child abuse. For instance, the Russian, Asian, and Mexican cultures practice cupping whereby a heated cup is placed on the skin which creates a partial vacuum that they believe helps in treating illnesses. Other remedies include coining, and this leaves marks on the skin.
Nurses have the obligation to report whenever they discover a case of child abuse to protect children from harm. Nurses go to the supervisor and describe to them about the identified case of child abuse and then they can contact the local Child Protection Services and also the local police department (Lau et al., 2009). In addition, there are local and also national child abuse hotlines whereby nurses can report about the child abuse case. They may record any evidence if necessary. Nurses also have the responsibility to follow up to ensure that a solution is found on the problem. In addition, nurses need to educate themselves more on signs of child abuse so that they gain the ability to identify any sign of child abuse.
Child abuse and maltreatment is very common in the United state and it affects children of all ages. I am going to discuss toddler abuse in this contest. A toddler is a child within the age of 12-36 months. These group of children endure several abuses like physical, Emotional, sexual, medical and psychological abuse.
Physical abuse is when a child sustains an injury to his body that was caused intentionally(Jarvis,2016). When a child is brought into the clinic for acute treatment or for regular follow up, the nurse will do a total body assessment to check for any sign of abuse. Signs and symptoms to look out for are bruises on the child’s skin without explanation, poor history of events, change in story of what happened, the child is withdrawn, refusing to talk, eye witness story is deferent from the parent or care giver story.
Toddlers are also prone to neglect, parents or care giver not feeding the child on time in order to save food. Letting them go on for hours with a wet diaper, not providing medical care when needed. Physical neglect can also be not providing them with shelter or clothing.
In my culture, we believe in corporal punishment as a way of correcting or teaching a child while in another culture it can be seen or misidentified as child abuse
Reporting a case of child abuse in the state of Texas is everyone’s business, you can call 911 in case of emergency or call Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 and report it to Department of family and protective services. (DFPS). In Hospitals, to follow protocol you report the suspected abuse to your supervisor and social worker and they will follow up.Center for disease control report that 4 million cases are reported each year(CDC,2015).