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Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Nov;40(11):858-61.

Nonaccidental injury in childhood.

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Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



Nonaccidental injury is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity, especially in infants and young children.


This article focuses on physical injuries that are commonly observed when children have been physically harmed as a result of abuse and neglect.


In 2009-2010 statutory child protection agencies in Australia received 187 314 notifications regarding suspected child abuse and neglect, of which 31 295 were substantiated. Substantiated child abuse and neglect occurred for 6.1 per 1000 Australian children. The good news is that these data represent a 10% reduction in the number of notifications and a 4% reduction in the number of substantiated reports compared to 2008-2009 data. Children are vulnerable and child abuse is common. It is therefore important for all general practitioners to be skilled in recognising and responding to child abuse and neglect.

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