Child Abuse

Monday, April 14, 2014

Every year, approximately 3.3 million reports of child abuse, involving almost 6 million children, are made in the United States. Child abuse is described as the physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment of a child. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about child abuse in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Child abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to a child or puts a child at risk of harm. Child abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. Neglect, or not providing for a childs needs, is also a form of abuse.

There are several types of child abuse, but the core element that ties them together is the emotional effect on the child. Children need predictability, structure, clear boundaries and the knowledge that their parents are looking out for their safety. Abused children cannot predict how their parents will act. Their world is an unpredictable, frightening place.

Most abused children suffer greater emotional than physical damage. An abused child may become depressed. He or she may withdraw, think of suicide or become violent. An older child may use drugs or alcohol, try to run away or abuse others.

Child abuse is a serious problem. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the police or your local child welfare agency.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.