Child maltreatment: screening and anticipatory guidance

J Pediatr Health Care. Jul-Aug 2013;27(4):242-50. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2013.02.001.


Child maltreatment is a problem of epidemic proportions in the United States. Given the numbers of children affected by child maltreatment and the dire consequences that can develop, prompt identification of child maltreatment is crucial. Despite support of the implementation and development of protocols for child maltreatment screening by professional organizations such as the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and American Academy of Pediatrics, little is available in the literature regarding the screening practices of pediatric nurse practitioners and other pediatric health care providers. This Continuing Education article will help pediatric nurse practitioners incorporate this vital screening intervention into their practice. Practical examples of when and how to incorporate screening questions and anticipatory guidance for discipline practices, crying, intimate partner violence (domestic violence), physical abuse, and sexual abuse will be discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse / therapy
  • Child Abuse, Sexual
  • Crying
  • Domestic Violence
  • Education, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mass Screening
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Partners
  • Societies, Nursing