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Physical abuse

This means causing any kind of physical harm to a child. For example, hitting, shaking, throwing, burning or scalding a child.

The government’s definition includes ‘fabricated induced illness’. This is where a parent or carer exaggerates, or causes illness in a child on purpose. It also includes a parent or carer fabricating the symptoms of illness in a child. This was previously known as “Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy”.

For more information see our advice pages on:

Physical abuse

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