I choose the school age this age group lies between the age of six to twelve years and most children get abused and mistreated at this age group and it affects their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.
School age children undergo various abuse and mistreatment, abuse can take the following forms; sexual abuse, abandonment and neglect, physical abuse, emotional and psychological abuse. Child abuse may cause emotional scars to school age children that last even after the physical scars heal severe cases of child abuse may lead to death. The most forms of physical abuse in children is when they are tied up, are intentionally burnt or scalded with a hot iron or water, intentionally starving children, kicking and striking children. Neglect and abandonment of school age can be classified in the following ways; medical neglect, emotional neglect, supervisory neglect, physical neglect and educational neglect (Pearce & Pearce 2007). Emotional abuse occurs when caregivers and parents take actions that cause emotional harm to children, this actions include; intimidations and use of threats, rejection and scapegoating.
There are several warning signs and physical and emotional assessment findings the nurse may see that could indicate child abuse.
A school age child that is undergoing abuse of any form can be identified by a nurse as they show signs of deteriorating physical development, social development, emotional development and cognitive development. In physical development the child may have delays such as lacking coordination and skills in activities that need perceptual-motor coordination and may cause chronical illness. In emotional development children may have low self-esteem, may exhibit impulsive behavior like often emotional outbursts, inability to handle stressful situations, exhibit depression, anxiety and emotional distress. In cognitive development children may lack problem-solving skills, inappropriate and delayed language and speech, inability to structure and organize their thoughts and inability to concentrate especially on school work or any activity. In social development the nurse may note that the child is suspicious and does not trust adults, the child fails to respond when praised or given attention and the child may feel unworthy and inferior and this may lead to difficulties in socializing and making friends.
There cultures in which they believe that they can discipline their children through corporal punishments but to some cultures it is viewed as child abuse it is therefore important to learn different cultural disciplining methods to avoid misunderstanding them (Petersen, Joseph & Feit 2014). Different cultures have diverse medicine practices, there are people that treat their children using folk medicines and this to some cultures can be viewed as child neglect and maltreatment.
Our state recommends that child abuse is reported orally this can either be through telephone or physically to the authorities and the oral report is followed by written reports. Our states telephone hotline to report a case of child abuse is 911, the caller is allowed to make a call as soon as the discover cases or signs of child abuse without having to prove it. A random or anonymous person can report child abuse through ensuring they give information of the child that is who they are, where they are, when they were abused, what abuse and how urgent the help is required to save the child.
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