Public service initiatives have done a thorough job of introducing children and the general public to “stranger danger.” However, there is no corresponding widespread campaign for adults who are legally bound to report viable concerns that a child could be a victim of sexual abuse (ie, mandatory reporters), including educators, clergy, healthcare professionals, and others. Rather, it’s up to those various disciplines to ensure their cohorts understand how to recognize red flags—including warning signs that a child could be threatened in the very environments where they should feel the safest. The American Academy of Pediatrics just issued a policy statement on preventing sexual abuses of children in healthcare settings. As reported by JAMA Network, the guidance aims to debunk myths surrounding child sexual abuse (such as the misconception that only men perpetrate abuse, that children are likely to lie about being abuse or, conversely, that you can count on a child to be proactive in reporting abuse). It also reminds the reader that accusations of abuse within the healthcare setting should be investigated efficiently and quickly, with patients offered counseling and treatment from professionals who specialize in child sexual abuse.
Are Children Safe from Sexual Predators in Your Urgent Care Center?