Child Abuse and Neglect: Role and Obligation of Pediatric Dentist in India
Keywords:Child abuse, India, Neglect, Obligation, Pediatric Dentist, Role.
Background: Child abuse is a form of behavior that involves treating someone (child, under the age of
18years) with cruelty or violence resulting in actual or potential harm to the child. It has no boundaries
and may occur in any geography, culture, or in any socioeconomic strata. Many studies reveal that there is
inadequate knowledge and awareness regarding child abuse recognition and reporting among health workers.
Method: Most of the studies reported that trauma to head and facial region occurs in approximately 50%
or more of physically abused children. Therefore Pediatric Dentist has major chance of witnessing the
physical abuse in clinical practice. On the same time they are not the authority to make diagnosis of child
abuse & neglect, rather identify and report the suspected cases, so that a process for effective protection of
the victimized children can be initiated. It is the responsibility of the child protection agency/commission to
confirm the crime and do the needful. Hence, the role of pediatric dentist in the identification and reporting
of suspected child abuse is crucial. He is expected to practice 4R’s: Recognize, Refer (if any), Record and
Conclusion: Understanding the peculiar role of Pediatric Dentist in recognizing and reporting child abuse
and neglect which ultimately contributes towards making better world for children.
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