The physical examination consists of preparing the child/adolescent for the examination, a general physical examination, a genital examination, and when appropriate, the collection of physical evidence. Laboratory and radiographic evaluations may also be necessary. The separate parts of the evaluation are conducted simultaneously; however, they are presented separately for clarity.
The goals of the examination are:
To minimize further emotional trauma to the child/adolescent by using appropriate preparation and examination techniques
To identify injuries that must be treated, including signs of abuse or neglect, such as failure to thrive, bruises, burns, lacerations, and fractures
To identify medical conditions that should be treated, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or pregnancy
To collect medical-legal evidence, when appropriate
To reassure the child/adolescent and parent/caregiver that the child/adolescent will recover, that any acute injuries present will be treated, or that old injuries have healed