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Journal Article


Chew YR, Cheng MH, Goh MC, Shen L, Wong PC, Ganapathy S. Ann. Acad. Med. Singapore 2018; 47(10): 413-419.


Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


(Copyright © 2018, Academy of Medicine, Singapore)






INTRODUCTION: There is an increasing trend of physical child abuse cases reported in Singapore. Children presenting to the Emergency Department with injuries require a high index of suspicion for clinicians to distinguish those that are abusive in nature.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of children with diagnosis of NAI presenting to KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) from June 2011 to May 2016 was conducted.

RESULTS: There were 1917 cases reported from 1730 subjects, of  which: 8.8% of subjects had repeat visits; 55.2% of cases were male; and mean age was 7.69 years. Racial demographics were: Chinese 45.5%, Malay 33.4%, Indian 15.4% and Others 5.9%. The most frequent injuries sustained were head and neck (50.8%), limbs (32.2%), and chest (5.7%). Of the type of injuries, 55% had contusions, 21% had cane marks, 16% had lacerations, 4.4% had burn marks and 1% sustained fractures. Males were more likely to be caned (P <0.001); 54.9% of cases were admitted and 38.9% were discharged. Cases that presented without a parent (P <0.001), were known to Child Protective Service (P <0.001), or had a history of  parental substance abuse (P = 0.038), mental illness in caregiver (P = 0.021), or domestic violence (P <0.001) were more likely to require admission.

CONCLUSION: Analysing these factors provide a better understanding of  the presentation of  NAI cases, including 'red flags' and vulnerable groups who should have better protection.

Language: en


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