Why is it important to use x-ray, or radiographic imaging, while evaluating a child for child abuse?
High resolution images are used to avoid a missed diagnosis. Providers generally order multiple views of the chest including anterior and posterior with oblique views of the ribs, two skull views, lateral views of the entire spine, anterior and posterior views of the pelvis, arms, hands, legs, and feet. One x-ray view of any body part is not acceptable.
Evidence of child abuse is generally present when fractures are correlated clinically and found to involve the ends of long bones in non-ambulatory infants, multiple fractures or fractures in various phases of healing in any child, fractures associated with intracranial bleeds and depressed skull fractures.