Paediatric Dentist's Proactiveness in Understanding and Managing Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN)

  • Amina Sultan Dept of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Keywords: Child abuse and Neglect (CAN),Child maltreatment,Child abuse, Paediatric dentist


Child abuse and Neglect (CAN), is now a centre of public attention after prolonged neglect by both society and medical professionals. Child neglect is a form of child maltreatment. There is evidence in the literature that 50% of all injuries involve the head and neck region, which places dentists particularly paediatric dentist at the forefront of abuse detection. Based on available records, the majority of dentists confirm that they can recognize abuse, strangely, a great number of them shows reluctance in reporting to appropriate authorities. The reporting is required not only for ethical reasons but also Section 21(1) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 has made it compulsory to inform about and incidents of child sexual abuse to the law enforcement jurisdiction. This applies to everyone including parents, medical professionals, and school authorities. If suspicion of abuse occurs, all valid information must be documented with radiographs, photographs and impressions. A comprehensive report should be made in the dental chart concerning the presence, site, severity and distribution of the injuries