Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The importance of dentists in child protection

There is an article in the Daily Record that outlines the contribution dentists can make to the identification of child abuse and neglect. The work of professor of dental surgery, Richard Welbury, who, along with others, has been nominated for a place in the final of the Scottish Heath Awards for his work in making dentists more aware of their responsibilities for child protection.

Too often the contribution that dentists can make to the process of keeping children safe is ignored in official publications. For example the current version of the UK Government publication, Working Together, makes no mention of dentists at all, despite making frequent references to all the other professional groups who deal with children.

The condition of a child’s mouth - and possible injuries to a child’s face, head and neck - are important indications of the care, or lack of it, that a child is receiving. That places dentists in a key position to identify child abuse and neglect.