The Resource Ocular Manifestations of Child Abuse
- Ocular Manifestations of Child Abuse
- Statement of responsibility
- E. Maya Kohara, DO Alex V. Levin, MD, MHSc, FRCSC
- Child abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions. In 2013, child protective services agencies received an estimated 3.5 million referrals for abuse investigation involving approximately 6.4 million children. About 60% of these referrals were screened-in for further attention. About 679,000 of these children were deemed victims of maltreatment, about 9.1 victims per 1000 people. Approximately 4% of abused children have ocular findings. Any traumatic ocular injury can be the result of abuse, and all forms of child abuse may have ophthalmic manifestations. Therefore, most ophthalmologists who care for children will at some time care for an abused child. Most jurisdictions classify abuse into 4 major categories: physical abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect, and emotional abuse. Data from 2013 suggests that abused children most often suffered from neglect (79.5%) and physical abuse (18%), sometimes in combination or with other maltreatment types. Nationally, an estimated 1520 children died from abuse and neglect in 2013. Nearly three-fourths of these children were younger than 3 years of age, and four-fifths of the fatalities were caused by one or both parents. Homicide is one of the top 5 causes of death in children
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