Medical Care for Children Who May Have Been Sexually Abused: An Update for 2016

Joyce A. Adams, Nancy D. Kellogg, Rebecca Moles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The medical assessment of children and adolescents for suspected sexual abuse or assault includes gathering a history from the child, examination and photodocumentation of bodily and anogenital findings, forensic evidence collection, and testing for sexually transmitted infections, when indicated. Most children will not have signs of injury or infection, and the child and family need to be reassured that an absence of injury does not mean that the abuse did not happen. This article provides an overview of current recommendations concerning the medical assessment, including recent updates in the interpretation of examination findings, sexually transmitted infection testing methods, follow-up examinations or testing, and practice recommendations for quality improvement. Changes in the approach to interpretation of anogenital findings table are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-263
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Expert opinion
  • Medical history taking
  • Peer review
  • Sexually transmitted infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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