Kansas City,
09:56 AM

KSHB 41: Children's Mercy app gives tools to help identify signs of child abuse

by Sarah Plake

When a child is abused or killed, like the recent tragic case of KCK toddler Olivia Jansen, the community demands answers.

An app developed by Children's Mercy Hospital doctors that identifies child abuse signs could be part of the solution.

"It helps that investigator understand the injury itself, how it could have happened through abuse or through accident, and that way they can ask the family better questions," said Dr. Jim Anderst, director of the Division of Child Adversity and Resilience at Children's Mercy Hospital.

It's called the Child Protector App, and it's been downloaded more than 50,000 times all over the world.

It explains different types of injuries and bruises on a child's body. Animations show how it could happen if the injury is by accident or through child abuse.

"I've personally had medical providers and child protective services workers call me on cases and tell me they used the app and it changed their decision-making process and it helped the kid get to better spot, get them to a better spot more quickly," Anderst said.

"So when we think where do we typically see bruises on children who incur accidental injuries, that's the knees and the shins, the elbows and the back of the forearms and of course the forehead," said Dr. Mary Moffatt, child abuse pediatrician at Children's Mercy. "When we see bruises outside of those locations, it raises some concern that this is a location we don't anticipate typical bruising."

Anderst said doctors can go through medical school and residency and never learn about child abuse. The app is a tool at their fingertips to enter the information in front of them.


See the full story via KSHB 41

Learn more about Child Adversity and Resilience at Children's Mercy