Child maltreatment: when to suspect maltreatment in under 18s

This guideline covers the signs of possible child maltreatment in children and young people aged under 18 years. It aims to raise awareness and help health professionals who are not child protection specialists to identify the features of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and fabricated or induced illness.  

In October 2017, NICE published a guideline on child abuse and neglect. Recommendations relevant to both health and social care practitioners appear in this guideline and the child abuse and neglect guideline. Clinical features (including physical injuries) are covered in this guideline. We made minor edits to recommendations 1.3.2, 1.3.3, 1.3.4, 1.3.10, 1.3.12, 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4, 1.4.5, 1.4.12, 1.4.13, 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.3, 1.5.4 and 1.5.5 in line with NICE’s guideline on child abuse and neglect. We also added a link to recommendation 1.3.6 to NICE’s guideline on faltering growth. Recommendation 1.4.8 was also updated with information on Prader–Willi syndrome.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

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