New guidance to help doctors protect children from abuse and neglect has been published by a medical watchdog.
The advice from the General Medical Council (GMC) is designed to give doctors confidence to act when they need to and makes clear where they can turn for support.
The guidance, Protecting Children And Young People: The Responsibilities Of All Doctors, was produced following a two-year working group chaired by a senior family judge after hearing evidence from a range of child protection experts.
It states that if doctors are treating an adult patient, they must consider whether the patient poses a risk to children or young people. For which read PARENT
Doctors must be able to identify risk factors in a patient's environment that might raise concerns about abuse or neglect. Like unlocked patio doors
They must also listen to parents and children, recognise parents' understanding of their children and keep an open mind about the possible cause of an injury or other sign that may indicate abuse or neglect. Open Mind. Say no more.
The GMC has also produced a guide for parents to help them understand what they can expect from their doctor when child protection concerns are raised.
It comes as a survey by website Netmums, which the GMC commissioned, found that 94% of parents agreed that doctors had a duty to find out if a child was at risk - even when they were only treating adult patients.
Some 1,500 people responded to the survey that looked at their experiences of when their child was taken ill or injured and how they thought doctors should act if they suspected abuse or neglect. Ring the press, wipe your mobile phone records, and keep silent vigil overnight, is the recommended practice.
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: "Child protection is a difficult area of practice, complicated by uncertainty and often very emotionally challenging.
"Parents and carers need to have full confidence that if there are any issues raised about the safety of their child, their doctor will take the right course of action. That would be a good start.
"Part and parcel of this is making sure that doctors communicate properly with both parents and children to convey any concerns they may have.
"Our new guidance will help guide doctors toward making the correct decisions in this challenging but essential area of work."
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