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'Suspect abuse' where children have history of falls

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Nurses who encounter seriously injured children younger than two who have a history of short falls should suspect they are being abused, according to a US study.

An anonymous survey at primary care centres asked parents to answer a series of questions on the severity and frequency of their children’s falls, the medical attention they sought for their child and circumstances of each incident.

The researchers found that only 24% of children who suffered a small fall sustained any injury and in 85% of these cases, it was only a bump or bruise.

Harder ground surfaces and increased heights significantly increased the risk of injury from a fall.

The researchers concluded that children who repeatedly suffer short falls and become seriously injured are likely to be victims of child abuse.

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