At LittleGuide Detroit, we want to make life easier for parents – which often times includes sharing cool new destinations, but also information about the best resources for your family as well – including the best pediatric hospital. April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and Children’s Hospital of Michigan wants to bring attention to a difficult topic that’s really important to talk about. 

Child Abuse isn’t an easy topic to talk about, but it is important for communities to be aware of signs and risks for children and for parents to understand the resources that are available to them when they need help. Dr. Bradley Norat at Children’s Hospital of Michigan is passionate about helping families navigate the difficulties related to child abuse. Dr. Norat is specially trained in Child Abuse Pediatrics which includes evaluating suspected victims of child abuse or neglect and guiding families to the next steps in the recovery process.

By sharing this information about the services offered by Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Dr. Norat hopes that it will make more people comfortable sharing concerns with medical professionals in order to get kids the care they need. He is also working to develop a clinic at Children’s Hospital of Michigan that would evaluate children for body checks when there is suspected abuse.

Here are a few answers provided by Dr. Norat to common questions about pediatric child abuse.

What are the types of abuse cases that Children’s Hospital of Michigan treat?

Children’s Hospital of Michigan treats children who are suspected victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Many of these cases are brought in through the Emergency Department (ED). The ED handles all urgent evaluations when a child is the potential victim of maltreatment (abuse/neglect). These services are provided 24/7. They are able to appropriately assess, manage and triage children who are victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan also receives referrals from outside doctors as well. This typically occurs through the use of our Physician Link Line, where referring physicians can call to transfer a patient of theirs to Children’s Hospital of Michigan. We are able to either arrange an outpatient appointment for the patient, and/or discuss immediate concerns that the physician may have and provide recommendations.

What resources are available to families looking to support children who have been victim of abuse?

Children’s Hospital of Michigan works with local child advocacy and guidance centers to help families access the resources they need to help kids through the healing process. Families looking for support in the tri-county area can reach out to one of the following organizations:

How can parents protect their children from abuse?

Be aware of new injuries or changes in behavior. Teach your children to use appropriate names for body parts. When you use appropriate names and explain the importance of private parts, it empowers children to talk about those body parts when needed. If a child makes a disclosure of abuse, the most important thing is to believe them and get them the help that they need – this includes reporting the concerns to authorities and getting a evaluation done by medical professionals.  Overall, make sure children are being supervised. The most common cause of death in the pediatric child abuse field is neglect, not abuse.

If you have concerns regarding child maltreatment for a child in your life, you should report the concerns to Michigan Child Protective Services (1-855-444-3911). You can also discuss your concerns with the child’s primary care provider. If additional information orresources are needed, we will work with the child’s primary care provider to ensure the child receives the care they need.

Learn more about the services provided at Children’s Hospital of Michigan here.