Oral Health Group
Feature

Re: Child Abuse, Summer 2001 DPM

October 1, 2001
by Dental Practice Management


I just wanted to bring you up-to-date on some things that have been happening since the article went to press. The issue of child abuse recognition is very much of interest throughout Canada. I have had several dentists call about children who they had recently seen or who are in the chair and wondering ‘what should I do’. Seems they have recognized, but were still not certain of where/to whom to report. I also think a lot was just some re-assurance that they were doing the right thing and wanted some guidance.

We had one dentist from New Brunswick who was very interested because she (and her husband who is a paedodontist DDS as well) had several cases but did not (a) know to whom to refer; (b) had some problems with local agencies who were unfamiliar with how dentistry could help in recognizing physical abuse and gave them a rough time in the past; and (c) wanted to know how to get more information.

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I suggested that she contact DPM for copies that she could send to the local agencies that did not realize how much dentistry could help them (as a multi-disciplinary team approach) and maybe consider having a ‘child abuse conference’ in her area with all agencies/personnel attending.

Another case I had was a DDS who called while ‘mom’ was in the chair and her 2-year-old daughter was playing on the treatment area floor. The mother apologized because her daughter did not want to go to daycare that day. The DDS said ‘no problem’ and was waiting for the local to take effect. The DDS simply asked the daughter why she didn’t want to go to daycare. She came out with the answer that an adult male at the daycare centre was putting his ***** in her mouth and she didn’t like that. You can imagine the shock for both mom and DDS! The case has resulted in five other kids also being investigated and confirmed as having been abused. The DPM article sparked this DDS’s interest in abuse when he never thought that he would ever be involved!

The local hygiene school just read the article and now wants the PANDA program as part of their curriculum. They are starting with a student’s project first to introduce the topic. Just wanted to let you know that the article is still working.

Thanks for your efforts and interests! A truly ‘good news’ story from ‘bad news’ situations.

Frank Stechey, DDS
P.A.N.D.A. (Ontario) Program
Hamilton, ON

I just want to thank you for publishing the article on child abuse and neglect in the Summer 2001 DPM. As the founder of Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness (P.A.N.D.A.), it has been my honour to help spread the PANDA message around the world. I have worked with Dr. Stechey for several years in replicating my program in Ontario.

I hope your journal helps us enlist more colleagues in our ongoing mission to prevent family violence in all its forms.

Lynn Douglas Mouden, DDS, MPH, Director, Office of Oral Health
Arkansas Department of Health
Little Rock, AR


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