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medical exams

When concerns of child abuse are present, a child may receive a medical exam at Kids FIRST. This exam is provided by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant with specialized training in child abuse exams.


Medical exams are important for a number of reasons:

  • To document any physical evidence

  • To document the child’s statement to a doctor

  • To diagnose and treat any health problems related to the abuse including injuries or infections

  • To reassure the child and parent that the child’s body is safe and healthy

A medical exam begins with a one-on-one conversation with the child’s parent/guardian, in which the doctor collects information and answers questions before the exam. The doctor then meets with the child to conduct a head-to-toe physical examination, which may include photo documentation. 

This exam is very different from a standard visit to a primary care physician. The child medical exam closely resembles a well-child exam, with the added use of a special light and camera to take a look at areas that may have been injured at the time of abuse. The exam does not hurt-- we do not administer shots or blood samples during this exam.

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