Physical manifestations of child abuse to the head, face and mouth: a hospital survey

ASDC J Dent Child. 1995 Jul-Aug;62(4):245-9.


The incidence of physical injury to the head, face, mouth, and neck of 266 suspected cases of child abuse was studied at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas, from January 1993 through December 1994. While there was an even distribution of physical abuse by gender, 74.8 percent of the children were under the age of three. A hospital physician performed every examination. The most frequently occurring injury was contusion or ecchymosis of soft tissue, while the face was the part of the body injured most often. Although 66.2 percent of the children reviewed had some type of injury to the head, face, mouth, or neck, only seven cases (2.6 percent) of intraoral injury were mentioned. These results point out the need for dentists to become active participants on multidisciplinary child maltreatment teams.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / etiology
  • Data Collection
  • Facial Injuries / epidemiology
  • Facial Injuries / etiology
  • Female
  • Hospital Records
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mouth / injuries
  • Neck Injuries
  • Texas / epidemiology