By Tim Waller

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Babies not yet able to roll over or move very far rarely sustain bruising. If they have, then the carers should be able to give a clear explanation that is consistent with the injury. Finger-tip bruising on tiny babies may indicate a carer who is losing control and gripping the child too hard. When injuries are observed on young children, it is worth asking how they were sustained and whether or not they have been seen by medical staff. To the untrained eye cigarette burns could be mistaken for a skin condition such as impetigo but whether the cause is impetigo or burns, the child needs to be examined by a doctor.

She is 18 months old. Her parents were devastated when they were given the diagnosis, and had no idea what the future may hold for them and their daughter. A referral was made to the local Portage service. This was funded by the LEA. Fortnightly visits were set up by the Portage home visitor, whose background was in physiotherapy. In the first visit Ashlyn was observed and the Portage worker played with her. The Portage checklist was introduced to her parents and they were encouraged to set aside a regular time each day to work with Ashlyn.

You should be aware that you may find some of the material in this chapter emotionally demanding. The aim of the chapter is to help early childhood workers gain sufficient understanding of key areas of child protection to enable them to recognize abuse in all its forms. Additionally, an appreciation of the obstacles to recognition is an essential aspect of the chapter. The focus is on recognition rather than policy and procedures. It is important that all people working with children acquire information about what they are required to do in the event of their suspecting or finding that a child is being abused (Calder and Hackett, 2003).

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