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In 1962, Dr. C. Henry Kempe and his associates published a paper on physical abuse of children and introduced the term battered child syndrome. It describes injuries resulting from repetitive nonaccidental trauma to and maltreatment of children. The publicity that has developed around this term has been critical in focusing interest in child physical abuse. It has provided the basis of many laws for reporting child abuse throughout the country. Mandated reporters, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers, are required by law to report suspicious injuries in children. They are protected by law from liability if these reports are made in good faith.

Child physical abuse is a serious problem in the United States today. Reports of abused children reach about 3 million each year. ...

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