If you find yourself a frequent visitor to your local hospital’s Emergency Department (ED), expect to get scrutinized rather heavily if your child is accident prone and his or her file is thicker than the Yellow Pages. If you come in with a child who looks like a raccoon with two black eyes from walking into a door, you will get asked some tough questions about what happened. Be prepared to answer them honestly and without attitude. The medical staff is obligated to ask questions about any child who comes in with bruises, eye injuries, or any damage that could possibly be from the hands of an abusive parent or care worker. It’s estimated that 10 percent of children brought to the ED with traumatic injuries are victims of child abuse, so don’t take offense. The hospital staff is just doing its job. If they even suspect the possibility of physical abuse, they are required to notify local authorities. You could even get a visit from a social worker who is doing a “well-being check” to make sure the child is safe and in a good home environment.
A tip: Sometimes scars, discolorations due to a skin condition, or even certain kinds of birthmarks will arouse the hospital staff’s suspicion. For example, Asian and African-American children often have blue and black birthmarks on their backs that can resemble bruising. It’s a good idea to have all such marks documented with your pediatrician so that you don’t have any difficulty proving your innocence to (thankfully) conscientious nurses, social workers, or other medical or children’s welfare workers.
From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents