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Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010 Apr;107(13):231-39; quiz 240. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0231. Epub 2010 Apr 2.

Child abuse and neglect: diagnosis and management.

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  • 1Abteilung für pädiatrische Neurologie, Zentrum der Kinderheilkunde und Jugendmedizin, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.



The findings of studies on the frequency of violence against children imply that many cases go undetected.


Selective literature review based on a search of different databases for publications on all types of violence against children, except sexual abuse.


The physical abuse of children can involve blunt trauma, thermal injury, and the so-called shaking trauma syndrome (STS). Physical and psychological child neglect have very serious long-term effects. It can be difficult to draw a clear distinction of child abuse and neglect on the one hand, and acceptable behavior on the other, because of the varying social acceptance of certain child-raising practices. Münchhausen's syndrome by proxy (MSbP) is a rare, special type of child abuse.


At the beginning of the 21(st) century, well-established normative structures are in place to protect children against abuse and neglect, and the available help from social organizations can also have a preventive effect. Further improvements will depend on interdisciplinary coordination and better training of specialists in all of the involved disciplines.

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