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Fingertips injuries can occur during abuse when a child is treated roughly or when the abuser slams a door or steps on their hands. "There is no one injury type that is 100 percent predictive of child abuse, but all the small risk factors can add up. Since fingertip injuries are mostly inflicted by someone else -- whether intentional or accidental -- it should be a signal to physicians to look deeper into the child's medical history for signs of neglect or physical abuse," said Chu.
Doctors may suspect abuse if parents provide a vague history with contradictory statements, if they delay seeking treatment or if the child's developmental stage is inconsistent with the type of injury, she noted.
"Currently, pediatric fingertip injuries typically are not considered an injury of abuse but one of accidental trauma or a clumsy child who gets his finger caught in a door," she said. "Doctors need to see these instances as a possible injury from abuse or neglect so they can be on higher alert during the evaluation." Source:
Rutgers University Journal reference:
Klifto, C.S., et al. (2020) Pediatric Fingertip Injuries: Association With Child Abuse. Journal of Hand Surgery Global Online . doi.org/10.1016/j.jhsg.2019.09.001 .
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