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Physical abuse can be any kind of hitting, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, choking, throwing, beating, and other actions that cause physical injury, leave marks, or cause pain.

More to Know

Kids who are abused can end up in hospital with serious medical problems. They may even die from their injuries. A type of abuse called shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. 

In the United States, there are child abuse laws in place to protect kids from physical abuse. Adults who abuse children can be sent to jail or have their children taken away. 

Keep in Mind

People who are abused as kids can have emotional scars as adults. They are more likely to have trouble with relationships, low self-esteem, depression, thoughts of suicide, and other mental health issues. The earlier abuse can be identified and stopped, the less destructive it will be. Therapy can help people heal from these experiences.  

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.