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Most injuries are not caused by abuse. But bruises are often the first sign of possible abuse. Suspect physical abuse of a child or vulnerable adult when:

  • Any injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation.
  • Repeated injuries occur.
  • Explanations change for how the injury happened.

You may be able to prevent further injuries by reporting abuse. Seek help if:

  • You suspect child abuse or elder abuse. Call your local child or adult protective agency, police, or a health professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor.
  • You or someone you know is a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV).
  • You have trouble controlling your anger with a child or other person in your care. Resources are available for help.
  • Bruises and Blood Spots Under the Skin
  • Burns and Electric Shock
  • Cuts
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries
  • Knee Problems and Injuries
  • Leg Injuries
  • Shoulder Problems and Injuries
  • Toe, Foot, and Ankle Injuries

By: Healthwise Staff Current as of: September 5, 2013
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

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