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nonaccidental injury

nonaccidental injury (NAI) (non-aks-i-den-t'l) n. injury inflicted on babies and young children; the perpetrator is usually an adult – often a parent or step-parent. Known colloquially as the battered baby (or battered child) syndrome, it is most commonly seen in babies aged six months or less. It usually takes the form of bruising, particularly on the face; bite marks; burns or scalds, particularly cigarette burns; and bone injuries, especially spiral fractures of the long bones in the limbs and skull fractures. Internal injuries may be fatal. Careful examination often reveals several injuries of different ages, indicating long-term abuse. NAI usually has serious consequences for the child, including failure to thrive and behavioural problems.

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