Who should get a medical exam?
A medical exam is available to any child or teenager who has an allegation or concern of abuse.
Does ChildSafe perform the exam?
ChildSafe does not provide medical examinations. We collaborate with Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital for child medical examinations. Forensic Nurse Examiners and Pediatric Specialists are available to perform these specialized medical evaluations in a child-friendly, non-threatening environment.
Why and where is the medical exam performed?
To collect evidence and to document any possible trauma. The specialist assesses for and plans treatment for sexually transmitted infections, injuries, and pregnancy. Most importantly, the medical exam reassures your child — and you — that their body is okay.
Your child’s medical exam will take place in a child-friendly room. The exam will include a medical history and psychosocial profile. Your child will receive a head-to-toe exam similar to a normal check-up at your pediatric office. This exam may also include an external inspection of your child’s genitalia and anal area to make sure they appear normal. It is important to note that a child’s medical exam is different and less invasive than an adult pelvic exam.
How can I help prepare my child for the exam?
Your child or teenager may feel worried, embarrassed, or uncomfortable about the exam, and these feelings are normal. The medical professional will take as much time as necessary to help your child throughout the medical evaluation by explaining each step of the check-up and finding ways to put him or her at ease.
If your child receives a medical examination, explain that this is to make sure that his or her body is healthy. Assure your child that this exam will not hurt and that the medical examiner will explain everything that she or he will be doing prior to the exam. If a medical is not requested by the Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT), you may request a medical exam by contacting the Family Support Specialist (FSS) who will assist in coordinating your appointment.