Physical abuse nonaccidental injury baby battering

Fractured bones, periosteal haemorrhage, bruises, retinal haemorrhage, and cigarette burns are common manifestations. The child is often retarded in both mental and physical development. The parents themselves may bring the child for treatment, claiming the injury was accidental. Some cases lead to the death of the child.

A variant is Munchausen syndrome by proxy, in which a carer, usually the mother, fabricates illness in a child by giving a false medical history and/or inflicting deliberate physical harm. It is criminal behaviour, not an illness, although perpetrators will need a psychiatric assessment.

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