To see if there are any injuries, to test for possible sexually transmitted infections, and to provide a report for the investigators. The exam also reassures you and your child that she/he is healthy.
Yes, some injuries may still be seen. And in cases where there is no injury, your child still needs to be reassured of his/her health and have any questions answered.
Our doctors are experts in the field and have special training to examine your child. It is similar to having your child’s doctor diagnose a heart murmur and then referring you to a heart doctor for another exam. Our doctors are specialists who work with children and also assist the detectives and social workers.
You know your child best and explanations vary depending on a child’s age. Be honest. Tell her that she/he is here for a physical examination or checkup, and that the doctors will perform an exam from head to toe. Give your child enough notice of the scheduled appointment so that he or she doesn’t feel surprised by having a medical examination.
Children accept the examination quite well. During the examination, the doctor explains what she is doing and what she is looking at during the examination. Children are encouraged to ask questions and to tell the doctor if it hurts.
If at any point during the examination your child cannot continue, the exam will be stopped. If your child cannot continue, the examination can be rescheduled.
Before the examination, the medical team (doctor, nurse and medical case manager) will meet with you to talk about your child and your concerns, review the child’s medical history, answer any questions, and explain the examination. After the exam, the medical team will again meet with you to discuss the results and to answer any questions.
The exam is similar to the physical exam your child gets with his/her primary care provider, including height, weight, and blood pressure; listening to the heart and lungs; and looking into the ears, mouth, and eyes. For girls who have not reached puberty, the genital examination is only a look at the outside of the genitals; speculums will not be used. In adolescents, sometimes a speculum is needed to see inside the vagina, but usually it is not used. For boys, only the outside is examined. During the genital portion of the examination, a digital camera is used to document the exam. The camera is used to magnify the area and to document the examination so that your child will not have to have another exam.
Only the medical team and people involved in the investigation have access to your child’s video.
Yes, if needed. Most can be tested using a urine sample. If a sexually transmitted infection is detected, we will prescribe antibiotics and make sure your child gets follow-up care.
Yes. However, if your child requests that you not be there, our medical team will honor your child’s request. If at any point during the examination, your child wants you to come in, a member of the medical team will get you.
No. Most exams don’t show any evidence of injury. Children heal quickly and some types of abuse don’t leave any scars that can be seen on an exam.
No. In most cases there is no medical evidence. Doctors will provide investigators with a medical report explaining why there are no medical findings. The doctor can provide court testimony regarding your child’s medical examination.
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