MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN THE BATTERED CHILD SYNDROME
In February 1966, the Committee on Infant and Preschool Child published a statement concerning the status of the problem of the battered child. The present Committee has reevaluated the statement in light of increased knowledge and experience over the past 6 years. The 1966 statement concerned itself primarily with two issues: (1) a historical review and definition of the battered child syndrome, and (2) discussion and recommendations concerning identification and protection of the abused child.
While a great deal of study and activity has taken place with regard to the problem of the battered child and there have been some positive results (e.g., every state in the union now has some form of reporting mechanism of the suspected or proven case of child abuse), the consensus of the Committee and its consultants is that the total problem has become magnified and is uncontrolled by present methods of management.
The Committee reaffirms and supports the following recommendations of the 1966 report:
1. Physicians should continue to be required to report suspected instances of child abuse immediately to the agency legally charged with the responsibility of investigating child abuse, preferably the county or state department of welfare or health or its local representatives, or to the nearest law enforcement agency.
2. The responsible agency must have ample personnel and resources to take action immediately on receipt of the report.
3. Reported cases should be evaluated promptly, and appropriate service should be provided for the child and family.
4. The child should be protected by the agency by continued hospitalization, supervision at home, or removal from home through family or juvenile court action.
- Copyright © 1972 by the American Academy of Pediatrics