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Bruising in children: Evaluation in cases of suspected non-accidental injuries in children (physical child abuse)

W.C. Igwe
V.O. Igwebuike


Background: Bruises commonly occur in children and are often due to minor accidental injuries. However, they can also occur in bleeding disorders or inflicted injuries (physical abuse) and is often the most common visible manifestation of child physical abuse.

Objective: This paper aims at highlighting the factors that should raise concern about nonaccidental injury (physical abuse) in children presenting with bruising and the approach to their evaluation.

Method: This paper is based ona manual literature search and review of relevant papers sourced from Pubmed using the search terms “bruising, non-accidental injuries in children, evaluation.

Conclusion: It is instructive to carefully and thoroughly evaluate bruise in children utilizing peer review and the necessary ancillary tests. It is also advisable to always consider other possible causes of bruise and bruise-like lesions in forming opinion about suspected bruise as implications of false diagnosis are grave.

Keywords: Bruise, bruise-like lesions, physical child abuse, evaluation

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eISSN: 0302-4660