[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
July 7, 1962

The Battered-Child Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Denver; Cincinnati; Denver
Professor and Chairman (Dr. Kempe) and Professor of Pediatrics (Dr. Silver), Department of Pediatrics; Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Dr. Steele), and Assistant Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Dr. Droegemueller), University of Colorado School of Medicine; and Director, Division of Roentgenology, Children's Hospital (Dr. Silverman).

JAMA. 1962;181(1):17-24. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050270019004

The battered-child syndrome, a clinical condition in young children who have received serious physical abuse, is a frequent cause of permanent injury or death. The syndrome should be considered in any child exhibiting evidence of fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, failure to thrive, soft tissue swellings or skin bruising, in any child who dies suddenly, or where the degree and type of injury is at variance with the history given regarding the occurrence of the trauma. Psychiatric factors are probably of prime importance in the pathogenesis of the disorder, but knowledge of these factors is limited. Physicians have a duty and responsibility to the child to require a full evaluation of the problem and to guarantee that no expected repetition of trauma will be permitted to occur.

Add or change institution