In an effort to address the horrific problem of child abuse, TCMC, along with The Children’s Advocacy Center/NEPA, Lackawanna County Medical Society, and Luzerne County Medical Society, with host the 3rd Annual Keystone SymposiumSpring 2015 – “Child Abuse – Recognizing & Reporting”on Saturday April 11, 2015 at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel from 8 AM until 12:30 PM.
The purpose of the symposium is to provide strategies for health professionals and students to recognize and report child abuse. As of 2015, it is mandatory for licensed health professionals to receive continuing education credits for license renewal. For more information about the symposium contact: Gloria Colosimo at TCMC 570-504-9074 or email CME@tcmc.edu.
“Health & Exercise Forum” will dedicate the next two weeks presenting columns on topics related to this unconscionable problem on the local, state and national level.
Part 2 of 2
Guest Author: AnjaniAmladi, MD4
AnjaniAmladi is a 4th year medical student at The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She was raised in San Ramon, CA and earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of California at Davis. She plans to become a Psychiatry resident and specialize in child/adolescent psychiatry.
Anjani is the recipient of the 2014/15 TCMC Healthcare Journalism Award by Dr. Paul Mackarey.
This is the second in a series of two columns dedicated to the topic of child abuse. Last week we discussed the definition and laws related mandatory reporting. This week will present prevention, identification and reporting of child abuse.
The unfortunate truth is that child abuse is much more pervasive in our society than can be imagined. Although the natural reaction is to avoid an issue that makes us so uncomfortable, by treating child abuse in this manner we do ourselves and our children a great disservice. The most important lesson my Internal Medicine preceptor taught me during my third year medical school clerkship was, “the eyes do not see what the mind does not know.” The goal of this article is to help readers “see”…what child abuse looks like in order to prevent, recognize, and report this unconscionable act.
While knowing what to do after a child has been harmed is vital to the interventional and healing process, knowing how to prevent a possible event from occurring is even more important.
Top 10 “Safety Rules” for parents and children:
While difficult, the most important step is to remain calm. Children rarely lie about being abused – so believe what your child is telling you. Avoid interrogating the child, let them explain to you what happened in their own words. Immediately let the child know they did the right thing by telling you, and be sure to emphasize that the abuse was not their fault. After a child has disclosed the abuse, make a report to the police, local child protective services agency, or a child abuse hotline. It is imperative that this be done after the child is able to tell their story. Assure the child that they will be protected, and that no harm will come to them because they told the truth. Obtain counseling services for the child and for the family. It is important that the child have an advocate, but it is also important for a counselor to help families to process the trauma as well.
ChildLine: http://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis 1-800-932-0313
Children’s Advocacy Center: 1710 Mulberry Street Scranton, PA 18510 570-969-7313 www.cacnepa.org
National Child Abuse Hotline: http://www.childhelp.org/ 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Other Resources: https://www.childwelfare.gov/ http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/
MEDICAL REVIEWER: Karen Arscott, DO, Associate Professor in Clinical Sciences, The Commonwealth Medical College.
Read Dr. Mackarey’s Health & Exercise Forum in the Scranton Times-Tribune every Monday
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.