People of all ages can fall victim to abuse, discussion help

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People of all ages can fall victim to abuse.  There are several different types of abuse.  There is physical, emotional, sexuall, and neglect.  Abuse in the school aged child should be the most easily identified.  At this age, the child comes in contact with many safe adults.  On the other hand, this is also when they become exposed to potential abusers in the community.  They are able to speak but are unfortunately too afraid or ashamed to.  According to World Health Organization (2002) young children are at a higher risk for physical abuse.  Comparably, children that have reached puberty are at a higher risk for sexual abuse. 

Warning signs for the school aged child might be trouble sleeping, problems with eating, difficulty separating from a parent, anxiety, aggression, poor performance in school work, difficulty paying attention or hyperactivity (Florida Department of Education, 2011).  On assessment the nurse should look for bruising, burns, scarring or abrasions that would be covered by clothing.  Any unexplained injury should be investigated.  Wounds that are circular or in the shape of an object that was used to inflict injury should be cause for alarm..  Other considerations may be sexually transmitted diseases, blood in undergarments, failure to thrive, hoarding of food, inappropriate clothing or lack of supervision (Florida Department of Education, 2011).  

There are some cultural considerations.  One being the practice of cupping used by Asian Americans to help soothe health issues.  This is a technique in which a cup is placed on the skin to draw toxins out.  A suction is created and can create something that looks like a bruise. 

Nurses are required to report any suspected abuse.  In the state of Florida, there are several ways to report abuse.  They are as follows:

1. Telephone—by calling (800) 962-2873, or (800) 96-ABUSE

2. TDD—by calling (800) 453-5145

3. Fax—by faxing the completed form on pages 105 and 106 to (800) 914-0004

4. Web reporting—by visiting http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/ to complete a web report

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