The child abuse is a universal problem that has existed since ancient times, however, it is in the twentieth century with the Declaration of the Rights of the Child when it is considered as a crime and a problem of profound psychological impact, social, ethical, legal and medical. American research locates the beginning of the global awareness when researchers like Kempe, Silverman, Steele, and others, in 1962 labeled the so-called battered child syndrome.

Prevention of child abuse pediatrician and acting

Pediatricians, when health professionals are in greater contact with children, are called to make the prevention of child abuse, and to establish diagnoses and together with a multidisciplinary team to collaborate in their treatment. Pediatricians are in a favorable position to identify children at risk (especially in children under 5 years, the most vulnerable population) from this age teachers begin to play a major role in the prevention and diagnosis position.

Prevention of child abuse is set on three levels:

Primary Prevention: aimed at the general population in order to avoid the presence of stressors or risk factors and enhance protective factors of child abuse. Are included:

  • Awareness and training of the child care professionals.
  • Intervening in the obstetrical psycho (childbirth preparation). Intervening in schools for parents, promoting values of esteem for the children, women and parenthood.
  • Prevent unwanted pregnancy, especially in young women, through sex education in schools and health centers.
  • The systematic search for risk factors in well-child visits. And evaluate the quality of parent-child bonding, child care, and parental attitude in implementing the binomial authority-affection.
  • Engaged in consultations and explain the rights of children and the inconvenience of physical punishment. Offer the alternative of applying behavioral punishment.

Secondary Prevention: aimed at the population at risk in order to make an early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Mitigate risk factors and enhance protective factors. Are included:

  • Recognize situations of child abuse, establishing treatment strategies.
  • Recognize situations of domestic violence or abuse of women and seek solutions.
  • Recognize parental behaviors physical or emotional abuse, considering the referral of the family specialized in handling anger and frustration help.
  • Refer mental health centers to parents addicted to alcohol and drugs.

Tertiary Prevention: Tertiary Prevention involves the rehabilitation of child abuse, both for child victims and abusers. To do this you must have an interdisciplinary team (pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, family counselors, therapists, juvenile judges, police forces, etc.).