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Ask Dr. Navitsky Your Own Question

Dr. Navitsky
Dr. Navitsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1037
Experience:  US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad
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Hi We have a problem with our four year old daughter.She

Resolved Question:

Hi We have a problem with our four year old daughter. She attends a primary school even though she is only 3 1/2. She came home from school with marks around her virgina. My wife will take her to the doctors in the morning but when we ask her who or what did caused the marks she makes up different stories. I work on the rigs and am 3500 miles away so its hard at the moment to be rational


What do we do ?


We will contact the school but if the boy is only 5 years old what should we do?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Paediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Navitsky replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Navitsky :

Hi there are you still around to chat?

Dr. Navitsky :

This is Dr. Jody Navitsky and I am a general pediatrician.

Dr. Navitsky :

This has got to be very stressful for you and the fact that you are aware of how irrational it makes you feel is actually a good thing. Do your best not to show her your discomfort although she probably already is aware that she "has done something wrong"...

Dr. Navitsky :

and that you are worried about her. Every time there is the thought of possible mistreatment of a child be it sexually or otherwise the issue should always be treated with the utmost seriousness and also with caution. The school needs to be involved as well as her doctor thus I think your plan of taking her in the morning and getting the school involved is a good one. The marks depending on what they look like actually could be innocent. Children her age rarely will play roughly with their genital area unless she was exposed to a much older child whereas looking at another child's genital area is actually not uncommon as curiosity about what the opposite sex looks like really starts early...however doing something that causes marks or hurts her would be uncommon with another child her age.

Dr. Navitsky :

I can think of a million ways she could have rubbed the genital area on a seesaw or on a swing, I have seen many "saddle injuries" including cuts and bruises that were made by routine play while straddling something thus the marks could actually be innocent. Her doctor should be able to talk to her and consider whether there is anything suspicious as well as perform an exam and check if her marks are consistent with possible mistreatment. They should also be able to tell if her hymen is still intact or to point you in the direction of special pediatricians that work in this area to be able to do so.

Dr. Navitsky :

Once the etiology or cause of the marks is determined than what happens next depends on what the cause was. If it were another child her age, usually as I mentioned above the play is quite innocent in nature although sometimes children who are actually abused at home may repeat what is done to them with other children...but again at such a young age this is unusual.

Dr. Navitsky :

Hi I see you have joined the chat.

Dr. Navitsky :

If there is an aggressor than the school and psychologist involved at the school will take over and basically if the aggressor is young they will be made to understand that this is not ok and watched closely.

Customer:

My wife has seen the marks and they look to be external only

Dr. Navitsky :

I think the best advice I could give to you over the net is to try your best to remain calm until you can actually figure out what happened. If the marks look mainly external there may not have been any attempts at penetration as usually there is quite a bit of bruising and some bleeding that happens with this.

Customer:

Kate's has had an attitude problem for the last few weeks and I wonder if this has been an on going problem at school

Dr. Navitsky :

Hmm it could be, although being a parent to 3 attitude problems tend to come in cycles at least at my house most of the time without much of any inciting factors!

Customer:

The reason she is at school is she is very bright and the nursery could not really help her develop any more

Dr. Navitsky :

As a parent the biggest worry I would have is that there could be an adult aggressor.

Customer:

oh well we also had a little boy last summer and she is very selfish and distant with him

Dr. Navitsky :

You mean she has a new little brother?

Customer:

As far as an adult abusing her I do not think so as she mentioned a small boys name who is 5 years old but a bit bigger than her

Dr. Navitsky :

At her age regardless of how bright she is academically, her emotional development is that of 3 1/2 and it is very normal for a child her age to not be exactly thrilled that the brother is around.

Customer:

Yes she has a new brother he's 7 months old now

Dr. Navitsky :

I can tell you lots of stories of how kids her age have tried to send the sibling "back"...

Dr. Navitsky :

If the boy she mentioned actually did something to cause the marks although still infuriating, the motive behind the exploration or "game" usually is mostly innocent.

Customer:

I have discussed this with my wife (my wife was a teacher but 16-18 year olds) but kate's behaviour and comments have become worse with me working away

Dr. Navitsky :

This as well is quite normal. Near 4 tends to be difficult time in parenting as they are really learning how to be independent but still want so much to be babied...

Customer:

Yes I can see the exploration thing being innocent but the marks worry me - he has a rough attitude but at 5 does he know any different

Dr. Navitsky :

Not really no he may not have thought he could cause her harm...I would be worried that perhaps he is being exposed to adult content at home, or perhaps being abused himself....it does go beyond normal show me yours and I'll show you mine.

Customer:

I will explain to my wife in the morning...

Customer:

We live in the South of France and getting any help in these situations is difficult

Dr. Navitsky :

I definitely think that it is important to follow through. Make sure she takes photos tonight to document as the marks may appear different tomorrow.

Dr. Navitsky :

I live in Spain and understand. In the US we have it very good as pediatricians...

Dr. Navitsky :

Don't let the school dissuade her from making them investigate what happened though...

Dr. Navitsky :

I probably would go to the doctor first and then hit the school with the report and the photos.

Customer:

The area we live in is notorious for incest... Hilly Billy's I used to think it was a joke but now I am seeing the locals in a different light - Maybe a bit OTT but child abuse is along the same lines

Dr. Navitsky :

Wow that is not a good thing....even if nothing comes out of this particular issue use it as a teaching experience for talking about private areas and how they are not to be shared with anyone else!

Dr. Navitsky :

You want her to feel that she can share anything with you that happens.

Dr. Navitsky :

Do your best to be supportive and not accusatory as kids her age automatically think they have done something wrong..

Customer:

Yes that's a good idea discussing it. My wife will do that for now . How ever when I get home I will be able to get her to discus the situation as she is v definite daddy's girl ( probably because I work away half the year.)

Dr. Navitsky :

Working so far away must be hard for both you and your wife especially when something happens like this. I hope all goes well tomorrow and you get some resolution. Feel free to give me an update later on if you would like! Have a good night!

Customer:

Thank you and good night

Dr. Navitsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1037
Experience: US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad
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