Archive for the ‘Child Abuse and Neglect’ Category

Child Abuse

August 5, 2011

Experts cannot agree on a single reason for this increase, but most attribute it to both a population increase and an increase in reporting. Other factors that are sometimes cited include changing a wider definition of child abuse, increased reporting requirements, states providing more accurate information, better recording systems, and changes in data collections.
It is estimated that about 906,000 children are victims of abuse & neglect every year. That estimate translates roughly to an astonishing rate of 12.3 children per 1,000 children. Of the victimized children, it is the ages 0-3 that are the most likely to experience abuse. About 1 in 50 U.S. infants are victims of nonfatal child abuse or neglect in a year, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. To further the shock, it is estimated that of these 1,500 abused and neglected children will result in death. That is just over 4 fatalities every day! The CDC goes onto report that 79% of the child mortality rate from abuse, are younger than 4 years of age.
As a psychologist who has worked with abused children, I can say that first and foremost, a child should never be flat-out confronted if you suspect abuse. This should be handled very delicately and the child should be approached gently, with all efforts being made to ensure the feeling of safety, security and trust. The child will most likely be frightened, embarrassed, ashamed, feeling guilty or conflicted and going through many emotions that are hard for them to handle.
If you suspect child abuse has occurred, you should contact the local child protection agency or police department. Now-a-day, there are many national organizations that you can call who will help guide you through. One organization is called Child Help USA and they have a hotline that is available 24 hours a day to offer assistance.
For the treatment of anxiety resulting from abuse and neglect, there are several roads you can choose from. Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder may include restlessness, feeling tense or on edge, irritability, impatience, or poor concentration. People may also notice changes in their physical health such as headaches, jaw pain, muscle tension, difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia), dry mouth, fatigue, chest tightness, indigestion, bloating, excessive sweating, and headache. These are some of the natural remedies that are being explored for anxiety:
The herb passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) was used as a folk remedy for anxiety and insomnia. Side effects of passionflower may include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and rapid heartbeat. The safety of passionflower in pregnant or nursing women, children, or people with kidney or liver disease has not been established.
Massage therapy, shiatsu, and other forms of bodywork are widely used to diminish muscle tension, relieve stress, and improve sleep.
Mind/body breathing exercises, physical exercise, yoga, tai chi, self-hypnosis, meditation, and biofeedback are just some of the stress reduction techniques used for anxiety.
GABA is an amino acid that is known to play a role in the physiology of anxiety. Some prescription drugs for anxiety work by affecting GABA receptors in the brain. The degree to which orally ingested GABA supplements can reach the brain, however, is unknown.
Plant essential oils can be added to baths, massage oil, or infusers. Essential oils that are used for anxiety and nervous tension are: bergamot, cypress, geranium, jasmine, lavender, melissa, neroli, rose, sandalwood, ylang-ylang. Lavender is the most common and forms the base of many relaxing blends.

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Dermatological Pathologies regarding child abuse

July 7, 2009

When administering massage therapy to a child who has been in an abuse situation, the therapist should be careful to observe any dermatological pathologies. Since the child has been neglected, there is a higher risk factor for several contraindications. Notice and ask the child of any open wounds. If determined, avoid the wound, although the therapist may massage the surrounding tissues to assist the healing process. Ask if the child has any persistent itching, a symptom of several highly contagious dermatological pathologies such as lice, scabies, chickenpox, and ringworm. These are definite contraindications and the child should be referred to a physician immediately. Find out if there is any recent scarring. Avoid any unhealed scars. Look for any other unusual areas of redness, inflammation, and excessive bruising and proceed with caution. Again, the therapist may massage around these areas to help speed up the healing process. During the massage, the therapist may also choose to assess any other conditions such as swollen lymph nodes and dehydration. If these conditions are detected, the therapist should notify the child’s guardian or physician. These are all likely possibilities of a child who has been abused, and dermatological pathologies for the massage therapist to be highly cautious.

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