Child Maltreatment Assessment, Vol. 1: Physical Signs of Abuse

The first workbook in the Child Maltreatment Assessment series serves to inform readers on the best practices for identifying and treating physical signs of abuse in children.

Available Options:

Child Maltreatment Assessment
Volume 1: Physical Signs of Abuse

Forensic Learning Series

The first volume of STM Learning’s Child Maltreatment Assessment series focuses on supplying readers with the skills to identify and respond to the physical signs of abuse in children. Featuring several case studies and full-color images, this workbook serves to help professionals in a variety of fields evaluate different types of injuries, better preparing them to accurately differentiate signs of abuse from their mimics. Chapters also discuss topics such as identifying burns and recognizing the symptoms of poisoning.

After reviewing each chapter, readers will have the opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge by completing an assessment at the end of the book. Each volume of Child Maltreatment Assessment includes a comprehensive test section, making this series ideal for both self-study and classroom settings. Additionally, a supplemental photographic atlas at the end of the book features an additional 80 high-resolution images depicting abusive injuries, mimics, and more.

Product Details:

Perfect Bound 11 x 8.5 inches
124 pages, 219 images, 11 contributors


Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Forensic Nurses, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Emergency Responders, Law Enforcement Officials, Medical and Nursing Students.

Publication date:

May 2022.


978-1-878060-31-0 (Print)
978-1-953119-09-4 (eBook)

Table of Contents

Section I: Definitions

Section II: Informational Chapters
1. How to Approach Suspected Physical Abuse
2. Skeletal Injuries
3. Sentinel Injuries
4. Thoracoabdominal Injuries
5. Abusive Head Trauma
6. Poisoning
7. Burns

Section III: Photographic Atlas

Section IV: Test Questions

Section V: Answer Key

Debra Esernio-Jenssen, MD

Debra Esernio-Jenssen is currently working at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital in the field of Child Protective Medicine. She is also currently the Medical Director of the John Van Brakle Child Advocacy Center. In 2009 she was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in Child Abuse Pediatrics. From 1998 to April 2010, she was the Director of the Child Protection Center at Schneider Children’s Hospital and the Chair of the Child Protection Consultation Team at Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park, New York. She graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1982 and completed her pediatric residency at North Shore University in Manhasset, NY where she was selected to be Chief Resident in Pediatrics in 1985. In 2007, she was invited to join the Ray Helfer Society. She is a member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and has a special interest in prevention. Debra has also produced a domestic violence and abusive head trauma public service announcement that has been shown on the big screen before every University of Florida home football game. Debra is recognized both nationally and internationally for her work in child abuse and child abuse prevention.

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Ruchita Doshi, DO, FAAP

Ruchita Doshi is a board certified pediatrician. She is currently working at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital as both a Pediatric Hospitalist and is a member of the hospital’s Child Protection Team. She is the Associate Medical Director of the Child Protection Team at the John Van Brakle Child Advocacy Center. She graduated from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015 and completed her pediatric residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network in 2018. She is a board certified pediatrician as of 2018. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Ray Helfer Society.

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Randell Alexander, MD, PhD

Randell Alexander is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida and the Morehouse School of Medicine. He currently serves as chief of the Division of Child Protection and Forensic Pediatrics and interim chief of the Division of Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Florida-Jacksonville. In addition, he is the statewide medical director of child protections teams for the Department of Health’s Children’s Medical Services and is part of the International Advisory Board for the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. He has also served as vice chair of the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the boards of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and Prevent Child Abuse America. Randell Alexander has served on state child death review committees in Iowa, Georgia, and Florida, and two regional child death review committees. He is an active researcher, lectures widely, and testifies frequently in major child abuse cases throughout the country.

View author publications

The field of child abuse pediatrics is ever-evolving as research continues to add to our bank of knowledge. The Child Maltreatment Assessment workbook series offers up-to-date and peer-reviewed reference information for both new and experienced clinicians. The text is succinct yet thorough, covering multiple areas of physical child abuse.

Among the topics covered are the assessment of the presentation of victims, the biomechanics of the type injury, and mimics of abuse. In Chapter 4, Dr. Fugok and Dr. Dunn highlight the dynamics of thoracoabdominal injuries as well as appropriate laboratory studies and imaging. The significance of testing results is well delineated. The case studies offer an excellent method of incorporating the manner of presentation and the various injuries that are a signal for a complete evaluation for child abuse.

In Chapter 7, Dr. Schatzman and Dr. Esernio-Jenssen cover the topic of burns. This is a must-read for providers who care for children whether in primary care settings, emergency departments, specialty clinics, or hospitals. Most helpful is an outline of detailed questions that should be asked while obtaining the presenting history. The burn history is of critical importance in differentiating intentional versus unintentional burns. The photographs are paired well with the text giving an excellent visual of burn depths. The case scenarios incorporate the need for assessment of developmental ability of a burn patient.

The text is authored by renowned experts in the field of child abuse. Medical providers as well as members of multidisciplinary teams will find this an invaluable resource in their daily work.

Joan Phillips, MD, FAAP
Co-medical Director
Children’s Advocacy Center
Women and Children’s Hospital Charleston Area Medical Center
Charleston, West Virginia

This text provides thorough, start-to-finish approaches for all professionals that work with children who have experienced maltreatment. It is clear that Drs. Esernio-Jenssen, Alexander, and Doshi intentionally set the stage for authors to present traditional and novel evidence-based information related to the etiology, prevention, treatment, and reporting of various types of abuse. These authors comprehensively consider the short- and long-term effects of maltreatment, including what we now know about the neurobiology of trauma, all while addressing strategies to provide patient- and family-centered care. In addition, and unique to this text, chapters provide case studies and photographs for discussion that clearly depict authentic situations and lead to deeper understandings of realistic practice implications. This assessment is a must-read for all who aim to remedy the epidemic of child maltreatment!


The Child Maltreatment Assessment series, a new 3-volume-workbook series, should be a welcomed addition to both individual and institutional libraries as an authoritarian compendium that promises to be an invaluable resource for health care professionals as well as the disciplines of child protection, mental health, and law enforcement. The chapters that I had the pleasure of reviewing were thorough, well-written, and provided an easy-to-understand overview of complicated topical issues. The integration of a case-based format should in turn be of great practical value to the reader. There should be little doubt that the distinguished editors, Drs. Debra Esernio-Jenssen, Randell Alexander, and Ruchita Doshi have artfully selected both traditional and emerging topics contributed by well recognized authorities in the field. I look forward to adding this text to my library.

Martin A. Finkel, DO, FAAP
Professor of Pediatrics
Child Abuse Research Education & Service (CARES) Institute
Rowan University
Glassboro, New Jersey

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