The child suspected of being abused or neglected demands prompt evaluation in a protective environment where knowledgeable consultants are readily available. In communities without specialized centers for the care of abused children, the hospital inpatient unit becomes an appropriate setting for their initial management. Medical, psychosocial, and legal concerns may be assessed expeditiously while the child is housed in a safe haven awaiting final disposition by child protective services. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that hospitalization of abused and neglected children, when medically indicated or for their protection/diagnosis when there are no specialized facilities in the community for their care, should be viewed as medically necessary by both health professionals and third-party payors.
- Copyright © 1998 American Academy of Pediatrics