In 2013, the Dutch Government mandated a new policy stating that all healthcare professionals caring for adults in difficult psychosocial situations should always investigate the safety of any children involved. We describe two cases of such ‘child checks’ in the accident and emergency department (A&E). Patient A, a 10-year-old girl, was referred to the outpatient paediatric department (OPD) after her mother had attended the A&E as a victim of domestic violence (DV). The child had witnessed DV on multiple occasions. The family were referred to voluntary social and psychiatric healthcare. Patient B, a 46 year-old woman, attended the A&E with serious injuries, and said she had tripped over. The A&E physician suspected that the injuries were caused by DV, and the mother and her 9-year-old daughter were referred to the OPD. However, the mother refused to attend, and the family was reported to the Youth Care Office. Because parents’ psychosocial problems, such as DV, can seriously affect children, their safety should always be investigated by performing a ‘child check’.
Conflict of interest and financial support: a disclosure form provided by the author is available along with the full text of this article at www.ntvg.nl; search for A7120, click on ‘Belangenverstrengeling’ (‘Conflict of interest’).