Evaluating children with fractures for child physical abuse

Pediatrics. 2014 Feb;133(2):e477-89. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3793. Epub 2014 Jan 27.


Fractures are common injuries caused by child abuse. Although the consequences of failing to diagnose an abusive injury in a child can be grave, incorrectly diagnosing child abuse in a child whose fractures have another etiology can be distressing for a family. The aim of this report is to review recent advances in the understanding of fracture specificity, the mechanism of fractures, and other medical diseases that predispose to fractures in infants and children. This clinical report will aid physicians in developing an evidence-based differential diagnosis and performing the appropriate evaluation when assessing a child with fractures.

Keywords: fractures.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis*
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology*
  • Humans