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Question
Posted by: Pixie | 2011-04-04

Signs of Child Abuse

Hi

I am extremely worried. Someone I know has a child that is displaying physical symptoms of herpes in the facial and genital area. The doctors have diagnosed Bothomis Abcesses as a result of high fever. The mother says she has not noticed any signs of change in behaviour...
Can you advise what signs to look out for if a 5 year old may have been sexually abused?

Please advise urgently!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

There are NO specific signs that a child may have been sexually abused, and most of the short lists which claim to do so are dangerously wrong. If there are good reasons to believe there may have been sexual abuse, only a careful assessment by a child psychologist or child psychiatrist, or some pediatricians with a special interest in this field, can do so reliably.
Herpes is not rare, and where a child might scratch the facial lesions and then might scratch her genitals, it is possible the child might spread the infection innocently. I don't recognize the variety of abscess you mention.
It is important for the adults involved not to panic and to remain calm. If one wants to ask a child about such possibilities ( and at 5 she would understand if something like that was occuring ) she is much more likely to be usefully informative if asked calmly and in the context of a warm, sympathetic and calm discussion of her symptoms, than is a panicky adult asks only about abuse possibilities.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2011-04-04

Bed wetting is a very common sign - other than changes in behavior. Not sure what other signs there could be.

HTH
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-04-04

There are NO specific signs that a child may have been sexually abused, and most of the short lists which claim to do so are dangerously wrong. If there are good reasons to believe there may have been sexual abuse, only a careful assessment by a child psychologist or child psychiatrist, or some pediatricians with a special interest in this field, can do so reliably.
Herpes is not rare, and where a child might scratch the facial lesions and then might scratch her genitals, it is possible the child might spread the infection innocently. I don't recognize the variety of abscess you mention.
It is important for the adults involved not to panic and to remain calm. If one wants to ask a child about such possibilities ( and at 5 she would understand if something like that was occuring ) she is much more likely to be usefully informative if asked calmly and in the context of a warm, sympathetic and calm discussion of her symptoms, than is a panicky adult asks only about abuse possibilities.

Reply to cybershrink

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