“Children are widely recognized as a vulnerable population during disasters and emergencies. In BC there are growing concerns that children may be at higher risk of abuse and neglect as a consequence of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the public health measures to limit its spread. Increased family and financial stress, disrupted routines, and lack of access to community supports can all contribute to child maltreatment. At the same time, physical distancing has restricted contact between children and the protective adults, such as teachers, who most commonly report cases of suspected child maltreatment. Despite the pandemic, physicians continue to interact with children and families and are uniquely situated to identify cases of suspected child maltreatment. All physicians have a role to play in ensuring the safety and protection of children. Specific approaches to clinical practice in the pandemic era and resources adapted for the pandemic can help physicians assess risk of child maltreatment, support children and families, and recognize and respond to child abuse and neglect.”

Learn more on Child Abuse and Neglect in the COVID-19 Era: A Primer for Front-Line Physicians in British Columbia by Kristopher T. Kang, MD & Nita Jain, MD, FRCPC via BCMJ.

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