Understanding Abusive Head Trauma and Child Physical Abuse

This activity has the same content as "Understanding Abusive Head Trauma and Child Physical Abuse" that expired on December 12, 2020. If you participated in the original activity, please do not complete this release.

Kentucky continues to be a leading state in deaths of children related to child abuse. Specific bruising patterns are significant indicators of abuse. Knowing these patterns, recognizing crucial warning signs, and understanding other traumatic injuries associated with pediatric abusive head trauma (PAHT) improves the physician's ability to protect children and prevent fatalities. Physicians who have this information will be better equipped to recognize subtle signs and symptoms of abuse, to report incidents of abuse, and to utilize the knowledge of evidence-based pediatric forensics to protect children.

This education helps all caregivers (not just parents) recognize early signs of maltreatment which can prevent escalation to PAHT. It also provides caregivers with tools for dealing with a crying infant, the most common trigger for PAHT.

This training has been approved by the KBML as meeting the statutory requirements of HB157.

Target Audience

This activity is targeted toward physicians in the specialties of pediatrics, radiology, family medicine, emergency medicine, and urgent care or any other interested health care professional.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:

  • Review statistics of abusive head trauma
  • Define abusive head trauma and its associated injuries
  • Describe the anatomy of the infant head and brain
  • Identify common presenting scenarios for abusuive head trauma and physical abuse
  • Explain the medical evaluation and follow-up of a child with abusive head trauma
  • Outline the range of outcomes for victims of abusive head trauma 
  • Discuss risk factors for abusive head trauma
  • Discuss prevention of abusive head trauma

Additional Information

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Christina L. Howard, MD, FAAP
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Chief, Pediatric Forensic Medicine
UK HealthCare
Child Fatality and Injury Prevention Pediatric Consultant
Kentucky Department of Public Health
Lexington, Kentucky

Faculty Disclosure

No speaker or planner has any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

The material presented in this course represents information obtained from the scientific literature as well as the clinical experiences of the speaker. In some cases, the presentation might include discussion of investigational agents and/or off-label indications for various agents used in clinical practice. The speaker will inform the audience when they are discussing investigational and/or off-label uses.

Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone commercial bias in any presentation, but it is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine presents this activity for educational purposes only. Participants are expected to utilize their own expertise and judgment while engaged in the practice of medicine. The content of the presentations is provided solely by presenters who have been selected for presentations because of recognized expertise in their field.

This training has been approved by the KBML as meeting the statutory requirements of HB157.

ACGME Competencies

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism

UK Healthcare CECentral certifies this activity for 1.00 hour of participation.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit


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