Communicating About Child Abuse

***Trigger warning: this episode includes discussion of child abuse***

In our last episode, Identifying abuse: the LCAST app, we talked about recognizing subtle signs concerning for child abuse and how to use the new LCAST app to determine the risk of non-accidental trauma. But identifying potential abuse is just the first step in a long and often emotionally taxing process. How do you approach parents or caregivers with your concerns? What do you do if a caregiver doesn’t want to cooperate with your extended work-up? What information should you share with them? And how do we avoid bringing our own biases into the room? These are tough conversations. 

Our guest experts, Dr. Emily Fain and Dr. Elena Duma, and our own Dr. Julia Magaña are experts in this field. They walk us through how to approach these conversations in a compassionate and straightforward manner, centering the safety of the child as everyone’s primary concern. 

How do you approach these challenging conversations? Share what’s worked for you (or what hasn’t) with us via social media, @empulsepodcast, or through our website,

***Please rate us and leave us a review on iTunes! It helps us reach more people.***

~ Our episodes are now closed captioned! ~


Dr. Julia Magaña, Associate Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at UC Davis

Dr. Sarah Medeiros, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at UC Davis


Dr. Emily Fain, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN

Dr. Elena Duma, Associate Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, OH


Riney L, Frey T, Fain E, Duma E, Chambers P. Improving Communication With Families for Evaluation of Child Abuse. J Patient Exp. 2020 Dec;7(6):827-829. doi: 10.1177/2374373520950987. Epub 2020 Aug 20. PMID: 33457503; PMCID: PMC7786754. .

EIIC Pediatric Education and Advocacy Kit (PEAK): Child Abuse


Thank you to the UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine for supporting this podcast and to Orlando Magaña at OM Audio Productions for audio production services.

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