THE children can be subject to abuses that are consumed above all in the family. How to recognize them? On the occasion of World Children’s Rights Day which falls on November 20, an investigation conducted in 148 hospitals from 29 European countrieshighlights that in half of the emergency roomincluding those in Italy, healthcare personnel do not have cognitive tools or standard protocols for encounter and contrast child abuse.
In our country with the Covid emergency, child abuse has reached “pandemic” dimensions, with the sad record of over six thousand crimes committed to the detriment of minors in 2021up 8% from 2020, according to the recent report from the State Police. That’s why it’s essential pto focus on the training of young specialistsfuture pediatricians of the National Health Serviceto have a positive impact on the management and prevention of child abuse who access emergency rooms as victims of abuse, neglect and ill-treatment.
A project to protect the little ones
In this dramatic scenario, Menarini relaunches “Facing abuse: emergence and communication in childhood and adolescent abuse”, a project realized with the unconditional contribution of Menarini and the patronage of Italian Society of Pediatrics (SIP). For the first time training courses were organized for young doctors in training of Pediatric Specialization Schools throughout the national territory. The goal is to help them identify and recognize signs of abuse in different forms.
The alarm bells
«In medicine, each symptom corresponds to a disease. But in the case of child abuse this rule does not apply. Apart from lesions that are found in a few casesit is necessary decode the signals of distress. The word I would like to emphasize is “suddenly”. We are witnessing an abrupt change in the child’s behavior which may show a decline in academic performance, self-defeating attitudes, fear of adults, even of reference, and the loss of already acquired controls, such as feces and urine. Can report nonspecific pains, not clinically supported, such as abdominal pain or headache. Also sleep disturbances, including nightmares, they can be a wake-up call. Abused children can also become aggressive. In short, we witness, in an inexplicable way, a character changes» explains the Professor Peter Ferraraproject coordinator, national contact person of the Italian Society of Pediatrics (SIP) for abuse and mistreatment and professor of Pediatrics at theCampus Bio-Medico University of Rome.
Not just abuse
«Days like those in which children’s rights are celebrated and reflected on have a fundamental value. Child abuse they are not only the most immediately tangible onessuch as physical or sexual ones, but also secondary ones, assistedthose that a child suffers when he is forced to witness the physical or psychological violence suffered by his mother or, again, when he is involved in conflicts and triangulations between parents. To prevent child abuse from turning into trauma for the future adult, it is good that every single figure involved in his protection plays her part, starting with schoolwhich must not leave out any sign of discomfort, come on Social servicesup to the juvenile justice. In my daily work as a special curator of minors I try to always be present in their lives and I always interface with the Courts where I happen to perceive even the most seemingly innocuous signal of discomfort of a child,” he continues Rosanna CarpentieriLawyer of the Court of Salerno, specialized in criminal and juvenile law.
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