The significance of bruising in the pre-mobile infant

Siobhan Malumphy , Dorothy Patterson, Leontia Hoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The majority of children in our society are loved andcherished. The occasional cases of intentional injury to a childresulting in death or significant harm evoke powerful anduncomfortable feelings (Devaney et al, 2013), and the publicoutcry may result in health and social workers facing criticism.Identifying whether an infant is at risk of abuse is a challengefor practitioners, and can be a source of stress and anxiety(Brandon et al, 2011). Bruising is a strong indicator of childabuse involving intentional injury (Kemp et al, 2014). Theincidence of bruising correlates to developmental stage, withnon-mobile infants least likely to incur bruising. Therefore, itspresence in pre-mobile infants requires immediate assessment.A search of the literature around bruising in pre-mobile infantsrevealed themes of missed opportunities for early intervention,the role of the father in the family and the significance of childdevelopment. Sharing of knowledge and expertise within themultidisciplinary team is key to safeguarding infants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-6
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Health Visiting
Issue number8
Early online date17 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Infant › Pre-mobile › Child abuse › Risk factors › Safeguarding

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