Medical Aspects of Child Neglect

Medical Aspects of Child Neglect
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-09-24
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Medical Aspects of Child Neglect
Unit 2 Transcript: Medical Aspects of Child Neglect
Unit 3 Workbook: Medical Aspects of Child Neglect
Unit 4 Recording: Medical Aspects of Child Neglect

Neglect happens behind closed doors. The moment other people realize the level of neglect a parent or guardian is inflicting onto a child, it could be too late. The damage from neglect can be severe and requires medical attention, is irreversible that requires lifelong maintenance, or permanent and cannot be undone in the case of death.

Leading this session is our favorite child maltreatment medical expert, Roger Blevins. Roger is a pediatric nurse practitioner with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Nursing and specializes in child abuse pediatrics. He’s qualified as a medical expert in courtroom trials for child physical abuse, sexual abuse, and homicide and is renowned for his presentations on the medical aspects of child abuse investigation.

Topics he discussed in this session are:

  • The prevalence, fatality, and long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect.
    • Children’s Bureau statistics that prove how neglect is as fatal as abuse.
    • The birth cohort study that tracked the cognitive outcomes of children who were subjected to abuse and neglect.
    • The ACEs study which correlated adverse childhood experiences including household dysfunction to health risks and diseases in adulthood.
    • A glimpse into the changes brought about by abuse and neglect in the brain and the brain cells.
  • Unpacking environmental aspects of neglect where children are exposed to drugs either accidentally or intentionally.
    • THC exposure when children get into their parents’ stash or ingest edibles.
    • The common outcomes of THC exposure and how this looks like for children.
    • The different forms of opioids that children may be exposed to.
    • The reasons why some parents intentionally dose their children with opioids.
    • Case examples where children were exposed to opioids and had opioid withdrawal syndrome.
  • Nutritional neglect which is either classified as morbid obesity or failure to thrive.
    • The long-term consequences of morbid obesity.
    • What failure to thrive is, what it looks like, and the causes of failure to thrive.
    • Case samples of the different types of failure to thrive.
    • The critical role growth charts play in proving neglect by looking at the growth trend over time.
    • Understanding normal growth charts and special growth charts as in the cases of premature infants and those with constitutional small stature.
    • The delicate nature of brain development which can be permanently impacted due to malnutrition.
    • A glimpse into the growth curve of normal babies and contrasting these with those suffering from failure to thrive.
  • The medical workup in a failure to thrive case to determine the child’s health condition.
  • Why refeeding is critical, the challenges in doing so, and the dangers of refeeding syndrome.

Questions from the audience were about:

  • Prevalence of ACEs in the population.
  • Reporting children’s exposure to drugs to CPS.
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome in obese children.
  • Organic and inorganic failure to thrive and why this distinction isn’t being used anymore.
  • Terminating parental rights to those who can’t provide appropriate care and diet to children.
  • Reference for terminologies used in the area of child abuse and neglect.



This is part of a 3-part series:


Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Roger Blevins is an amazing presenter. The information he shared was invaluable. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.” — Vivian
  • “Awesome presentation on, “Medical Aspects of Child Neglect.” — Tangela
  • “The presenter is full of life! Thanks.” — Tracey
  • “Good slides to accompany the discussion.” — Nicole
  • “The detailed information Roger discussed regarding failure to thrive was extremely beneficial.” — Amanda
  • “Mr. Blevins provided a lot of important information about OD and THC.” — Alejandra


Additional Resources
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