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Head and spinal injuries in children: Core info leaflet

Topics: Physical abuse

How to identify injuries to the head and spine that may be the result of child abuse

Inflicted head injuries are the most serious form of physical child abuse, with some of the most severe consequences for the child's future wellbeing. They are also a leading cause of death among children who have been abused.

This leaflet summarises what is currently known about the clinical presentation of inflicted head and spinal injuries in children.

It has been produced to assist all professionals who work with children. The information will be of particular interest to health, social care and legal professionals.

This is part of the Core info leaflet series on aspects of physical child abuse and neglect, a collaborative project by the NSPCC and Cardiff Child Protection Systematic Review Group.

Author: NSPCC and Cardiff University
Published: 2014


Please cite as: NSPCC and Cardiff University, Department of Child Health (2009) Core-Info: head and spinal injuries in children. London: NSPCC.

Core info series

The Core info leaflet series is based on a collaborative project by the NSPCC, Cardiff University and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

The RCPCH are engaged in a rolling programme of systematic reviews of published research literature, originally developed by Cardiff University, on aspects of physical child abuse and neglect.

The full systematic review findings including research questions and methodologies as well as information about all of the reviews and annual updates being under taken can be found in the Child Protection Evidence resource on the RCPCH website.