Fighting to Protect Our Children

Notre Dame Dean of Science Greg Crawford and his team are working on technology to accurately date the age of pediatric bruises and help prevent child abuse.

A diagnosis. The act of identifying a disease based on its signs and symptoms. But what happens when the person describing the symptoms is too young, or too scared, to voice the truth? Each year over 700,000 children are reported physically abused in the United States, while tens of thousands more instances go undetected.

The biggest challenge that doctors face in recognizing child abuse is in aligning the patient’s story with the physical evidence in front of them. Currently, the only way to estimate the age of the bruise is by its physical appearance. Even for experienced physicians, this is incredibly difficult.

Notre Dame’s Dean of ScienceGreg Crawford, is working with a team of researchers from Notre Dame and Hasbro Hospital in Rhode Island to develop a special camera that instantly and accurately detects the age of a bruise, providing doctors with key information to validate a patient’s story.

Science can be a powerful tool in the fight for justice. Learn more about this research.