Child maltreatment comes in many forms including neglect, verbal, physical and sexual abuse. According to statistics from the CDC, in 2013 there were 678,932 child abuse and neglect cases reported to Child Protective Services (CPS). More than 27% of these cases occurred in children under three years of age. Furthermore, the true incidence is likely much higher due to underreporting. It is estimated that 1 in 4 children experience some form of maltreatment in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the cost is high with over 1,500 deaths from abuse and a cost of over $124 billion each year.
A new app attempts to help medical and non-medical providers identify cases of physical child abuse. The app is funded by a grant from the Children’s Justice Act. The content was developed by Dr James Anderst at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, and Dr Nancy Kellogg at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio. Both are experts in pediatric child abuse. Here on iMedicalApps we have been fans of other apps from Children’s Mercy Hospital including their excellent CAP guideline app.
The app is designed to help CPS, law enforcement and medical personnel to evaluate children who may have been abused. The app includes educational videos (over 60 in all) to describe the mechanisms of injury and evaluation of accidental or inflicted pediatric injuries including bruises, burns, head injuries, fractures, and abdominal injuries. The app includes forensic decision making tools that work as checklists/decision trees in evaluating injured children and help guide further testing and referral.
Evidence based medicine
The app comes from two highly reputable institutions, Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and the University of Texas-San Antonio, and is funded by a grant from the Children’s Justice Act. The app contains several pages of references. The videos come from experts in pediatric child abuse/trauma. The forensic decision making tools are expert opinion based checklists to aid providers in deciding which pediatric injuries need further work up.
Who would benefit from the Child Protector App?
Medical and non-medical providers (i.e.-law enforcement) who care for children and may have to evaluate suspected pediatric trauma.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Simple to use interface with excellent references.
- Numerous high quality videos provide outstanding education.
- Forensic decision maker checklists provide novel approach to deciding who to work up.
- Ability to give feedback/ask questions.
- Choosing medical or nonmedical user doesn’t seem to change anything in the app.
- Depth of detail of information for each section may make app challenging to use at point of care.
- Forensic decision maker of unknown sensitivity/specificity/reliability.
- Not available for Android at this time.
Perhaps the most ambitious app yet from Children’s Mercy Hospital and UT-San Antonio, Child Protector educates providers about the myriad features of child abuse. The app includes a novel forensic decision maker to help providers determine when to get help in working up injured children. The app may intimidate some with the depth of details, but it really should be viewed by everyone who takes care of injured children.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Design is easy to use and allows for users to choose investigate different child injuries with a flick of the thumb.
- Multimedia Usage
App has many high quality educational videos and step by step checklists for patient evaluation. App permits users to send feedback/ask questions.
App is free.
- Real World Applicability
A fantastic educational app on the diagnosis of child abuse that all providers who care for children should definitely download.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.2
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad