My Child has a Medical Examination
Why does my child need an exam?
Medical exams are used to:
Identify, document, and interpret any findings or injuries
Diagnose and treat STDs
Obtain a history from the child
Assess mental health and refer for counseling if needed
It is important to note that medical exams cannot tell what caused an injury, when an injury has occurred, how many times abuse occurred, or who committed the abuse.
What happens during the medical exam?
The doctor meets privately with the parent or guardian to go over past history and recent history. The child is then brought to the exam room to check height, weight, temperature, and blood pressure. The doctor explains (age appropriately) the exam.
What should I bring to the medical exam?
Please bring your child’s Social Security number, medical card, or private insurance card. You will not be billed for any of the services received at the CAC. If you have any questions about this, please call the CAC for more information.
If your child has already received an examination relating to sexual abuse, please bring medical records or the name of the facility and the date seen.
Why are most exams normal?
Many types of sexual abuse that occur are not likely to be physically damaging. Also, disclosures may be weeks if not years after contact, giving time for any injuries to heal.
My child already had a medical exam in the emergency room, why should he/she have another one at the Children’s Advocacy Center?
The physician and qualified mental health professional at the CAC are specially trained in child sexual abuse, and sometimes the E.R. physician or detective will recommend an exam at the CAC. The Qualified Mental Health Professional functions as part of the medical team, assuring that we are assessing the child’s mental health, as well as his/her physical health.