Child abuse is a serious violation of children’s human rights, that affects their physical, mental and emotional health, and can, furthermore, have serious consequences in their adult life. Dentists have the responsibility to detect possible cases of child abuse and take actions to put a stop to it at an early stage. However, often the decision to report a case is made difficult due to a lack of tools to express an objective suspicion. Applying the Delphi method with the support of prominent national experts, a short self-application questionnaire was developed to be applied by odontologists in the dental clinic, defining seven key points that should be examined when handling the case of an injured child. The questionnaire guides dentists in recognizing the signs of abuse and deciding when a case has enough elements suggesting possible child abuse that it is advisable to report it, as required by law. Applying this questionnaire will improve the detections of cases, which is the first step to ensure the wellbeing of abused children.
KEY WORDS: child abuse, dental clinic, child welfare, mass screening.
How to cite this article
BRAVO, R. L. & DÍAZ, M. J. Child abuse screening tool for the Dental Clinic. Int. J. Odontostomat., 16(3): 396-402, 2022.