Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 239–243 | Cite as

Genital injury in girls — accidental or not?

  • A. M. Pierce
  • W. J. Robson
Original Article


For 33 months a prospective study was made of girls attending a paediatric accident and emergency department with genital injury. The clinical features were related to age and the stated mechanism of the injury. Indicators for non-accidental injury were sought. A clear history was given in 82 of 87 girls to account for the findings on examination. Straddle injuries occurred in 74, accidental penetrating injuries in 5, stretch injuries in 3, and 2 had self-inflicted scratch injuries. Sexual abuse was alleged by 3 girls. Surgery was required in 6. Accidental injuries to the genital area are common and should have a clear history, with findings on examination consistent with that history. An absent or vague history or injury to the hymen, fourchette, or perineum must raise suspicions of child sexual abuse.

Key words

Genital injury Sexual abuse 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bamford F, Roberts R (1989) ABC of child abuse, child abuse-II. BMJ 299: 377–382Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Emans SJ, Woods ER, Flagg NT, Freeman A (1987) Genital findings in sexually abused, symptomatic and asymptomatic girls. Pediatrics 79: 778–785Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    McCann J, Voris J, Simon M (1988) Labial adhesions and posterior fourchette injuries in child sexual abuse. Am J Dis Child 142: 659–663Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    McCauley J, Gorman Richard L, Guzinski G (1986) Toluidine blue in the detection of perineal lacerations in pediatric and adolescent sexual abuse victims. Pediatrics 78: 1039–1043Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Muram D (1986) Genital tract injuries in the prepubertal child. Pediatr Ann 15: 616–620Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    West R, Davies A, Fenton T (1989) Accidental vulval injuries in childhood. BMJ 298: 1002–1003Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Pierce
    • 1
  • W. J. Robson
    • 1
  1. 1.Accident and Emergency DepartmentRoyal Liverpool Childrens HospitalLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations