Pediatricians suggest bitemarks only be used to establish whether adult, other child or animal cause of skin injuries

This piece, “AAP: Peds Serve as Primary Prevention for Child Abuse.”  comes from MedPage, a  respected online health resource, which is now briefing general physicians about the proper diagnosis of child abuse. They have just published a new report (updated from 2007) from the American Academy of Pediatrics that is announcing their current opinions on the signs and symptoms of child abuse. For starters, the report mentions age parameters of child victims “less than 4 months up to 4 years and then, among other things, uses a common sense approach to the general appearance and diagnostic value of bitemark injuries. They do not suggest that bitemarks can be used to ID a specific biter and only suggest determinations of human (adult or other child) or animal origin.

This flies in the face of what the bitemark believers and more than a few dental   journalists say regarding the availability of dental  expertise that confidently can identify (by “comparison”) to  just one possible person as being   “the biter.”  This is consistently used by ‘elite’ dentists who involve themselves in child abuse cases where authorities tell them only custodial parents or other caregivers had access an injured child. This is a disguise for their lack of ability to classify the occurrence of other “matches” within the at-large human species. Much like the FBI hair technicians have done, these dentists support themselves and their organization (ABFO)  via misleading training of unsuspecting and well-intentioned dental professionals. Most of these courses are promoted by this small bunch. . 

Here’s the AAP comment on bitemarks.

Bite marks are another sign of physical abuse, especially bite marks “characterized by ecchymoses, abrasions or lacerations that are found in an elliptical or ovoid pattern.” The authors recommended photographing any bite marks and employing dental professionals or forensic odontologists to determine if the bites were inflicted by an adult, other child, or animal.

The article also states more wisdom about the visual signs of child abuse that should be useful for physicians, law enforcement and other criminal justice persons. Here is their summary.

Bruises are the most common sign of physical abuse, and they may be the only sign of a deeper internal injury. While normal childhood bruising occurs on the knees, legs and forehead, bruising that is the result of physical abuse is likely to occur on the head and face, appear in clusters, or appear in the shape of an implement, such as a handprint or a mark of a cord. Any bruising on a nonmobile infant is cause for concern because, as the authors note, “those who don’t cruise rarely bruise.”

The report suggested “TEN 4” for identifying problematic areas of bruising:

  • T: torso
  • E: ear
  • N: neck
  • 4: Children less than 4 years of age or infants less than 4 months of age


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in AAFS, ABFO, Bite Marks, Bitemarks, junk forensic science, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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