The "Deutscher Kinderverein e.V." shows the differences in injuries
People who have professional contact with children inevitably see traces of injuries again and again. Really slipped and fell while playing in the playground? Or could the angry hand of an adult have been involved? Which pediatrician, youth welfare officer, teacher, educator or policeman has not already asked himself this question. " We have long been calling for people in these professions to be sensitized to the consequences of maltreatment during their training," says Rainer Rettinger, Managing Director of the "Deutscher Kinderverein e.V.".
The club is now publishing an illustration that shows which injuries are typical for falls or bumping and which are not. Contusions on the forehead, nose and chin as well as abrasions on the palms of the hands, knees and shins can be easily reconciled with the usual accidents when playing and frolicking. With injuries on the back of the hand and forearms or on the outside of the thighs, this is already more difficult. The illustration also shows the visible consequences of blows to the body or face, as well as injuries caused by burning cigarettes and extensive burns and scalds. In the case of bite wounds, the distance between the canine teeth can be used to determine whether they are from a child or an adult, and strangulation marks should be examined immediately by a doctor.
In addition to the picture of the injury, the poster of the "Kinderverein" also shows further indications of maltreatment: the lack of a comprehensible explanation for the wounds, behavioural problems or the accumulation of many different injuries. Delayed seeking medical assistance for serious injuries is considered highly suspicious.
Dr. Saskia Etzold, senior physician/deputy medical director of the violence protection outpatient clinic of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, was in charge of compiling the contents of the illustration. The theme was visually implemented by the Hamburg agency DIALOGBILD. The police statistics show how urgently such information is needed in Germany today: in 2018, 136 children were killed by maltreatment, more than 4,000 cases of maltreatment were counted - a high number of unreported cases is assumed.
Distribution via social media and a campaign that reaches schools and educational professionals is planned.
Since there is unfortunately still no central or Germany-wide telephone number for reporting child abuse exists, the poster can be used for the different institutions, federal states etc. can be customized with the corresponding number and contact option. It will also soon be available for free download on the website of the children's association: www.deutscher-kinderverein.de.