Child abuse in the school age years is any act that could harm a child in any way. Abuse exists throughout all ages, it is not limited to just one age group. There are different types of abuse and these include physical, sexual, emotional or psychological.
Physical abuse results in injury to the child that can be seen physically from bruises or burns. Some examples of physical abuse include hitting, biting, slapping, pushing, burning with cigarettes or hot water. Some children group up in families where hitting is seen as a normal type of punishment for misbehavior. However, this is not correct because it creates a trauma for the child and accidents could result as well from a hit in the wrong place. A nurse can identify this type of abuse due to the behavior of the child, usually they do not want to go home and are afraid of adults. Also when approaching the child they may draw away.
Sexual child abuse is any type of touching or intercourse from an adult to a child and can emotionally scar the child for life. Examples of this are fondling, violations of bodily privacy and exposing the child to adult sexuality. Adults can be very sick and perverted and this is very disgusting considering that a child is involved who is innocent and has no idea about what is going on. Sexual abuse is usually from someone who is close to the child. Identifying this type of abuse involves the child avoiding any type of talk relating to sexuality or rejection of their own genitals.
Emotional abuse is a type of abuse that affects the child’s mental health status and it entails verbal as well as psychological abuse. This sort of abuse interferes greatly with the child’s development as a person meaning their personality and attitude towards themselves. “Behavioral signs that could be indicative of abuse may include fearfulness, inappropriate sexual behavior, abnormal or irrational fears, and social withdrawal.” (Health Assessment: Foundations for effective practice)
Different cultures and religions have different beliefs when it comes to medicine and many have their own way of treating certain conditions. What may seem abuse is actually normal practices they perform which works for them. Some examples are cupping which is an ancient practice that consists of making small cuts to the skin to draw blood and help the body get rid of toxins. This is wet cupping. In dry cupping, suction is provided by a type of cup-like container and ecchymoses are made on the back of the person and it works to alleviate inflammation and pain. Coining is a healing practice that involves rubbing the skin to treat different types of illnesses.
To report abuse in Florida there is a hotline you can call provided by the department of Children and Families. You can either call or report online in a specific website. As a nurse, to report abuse first of all we must prioritize the child’s safety. Report to the abuse hotline and then notify social services and well as the authorities to open an investigation.