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Questions and Phrases to Assess Child Abuse and Neglect in Spanish

Questions and Phrases to Assess Child Abuse and Neglect in Spanish

This Medical Spanish lesson focuses on learning how assess child abuse and neglect in Spanish. This is a delicate topic requested by a community member who wanted to know the best vocabulary to talk about child abuse and neglect in Spanish with Spanish speaking parents (and children) in a respectful way that doesn’t intimidate or offend.

When discussing and assessing the health and safety of a child, the stakes are high for the child, the parents, and the family unit as a whole. You need to have a critical listening skills to be able to understand what people are saying and read between the lines. This is not a conversation that you would ever want to just “wing it” and do your best if your Spanish isn’t up to par. Please be quick to use professional Spanish interpreters to ensure accuracy.

Here is the Medical Spanish lesson I taught to the Facebook group:

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Conversaciones con padres / Conversations with Parents

Spanish English
La situación de la familia  The situation of the family
Trabajo Work
Niveles de estrés Levels of stress
Apoyo en los momentos difíciles Support in difficult times
Quién cuida a los niños Who is in regular contact with the kids taking care of them
Uso de alcohol y drogas Use of alcohol and drugs
Asegurar la casa  Making the house safe / Baby proofing the house
Frustraciones con los niños Frustrations with children
Consejos de prevención Prevention advice

Conversaciones con niños / Conversations with Kids

Spanish English
Heridas y lesiones  Wounds and injuries
Las partes íntimas Private parts
Secretos Secrets

Signos y síntomas de alerta / Red Flags

When talking to families, and probably when you were needing transition into getting some outside help to the family and you might want to point out things you are worried about, these phrases would be useful.

Spanish English
Heridas no congruentes con la edad del niño Injuries that don’t match with the kid’s age
Huesos fracturados  Fractured bones
Magullas o moretones Bruises
Marcas de una mano o dedos en la piel Marks of a hand or fingers on the skin
Múltiples lesiones en varias etapas de sanarse Multiple injuries in multiple stages of healing
Quemaduras  Burns
El niño se porta de una manera sexual que no corresponde a su edad The child behaves in a sexual way that does not correspond to their age

Factores de riesgo de abuso / Risk Factors for Abuse

Spanish English
1. Historia de abuso en la familia  1. Family history in the family
2. Trastornos mentales (depresión, estrés postraumático) 2. Mental disorders (depression, post-traumatic stress)
3. Estrés financiero: desempleo 3. Financial stress: unemployment
4. Aislamiento de apoyo social y familiar 4. Isolation from social and family support
5. Falta de conocimiento sobre el desarrollo y parentesco  5. Lack of knowledge about development and parenting
6. Un niño en la familia con discapacidades 6. A child in the family with disabilities

Temas de conversación con los padres / Conversation Topics with Parents

This is a list of questions that might open some of these topics and help you begin the conversation.

Spanish English
1. ¿Quién vive o duerme en la casa con usted(es)? 1. Who lives or sleeps in the house with you?
2. ¿Quien le ayuda con los niños? ¿Quién los cuida cuando tiene que salir?  2. Who helps you with the children? Who takes care of them when you have to leave?
3. ¿Cómo va el trabajo? ¿Cuál es su horario de trabajo? 3. How is work going? What is your work schedule?
4. ¿Se preocupa por tener lo suficiente para comprar de comer y pagar los servicios públicos? 4. Do you worry about having enough to pay for food and public services?
5. ¿Su bebé llora mucho o está contento? 5. Is your baby crying a lot or is he/she happy?
6. ¿Su bebé es tranquilo o resiste mucho? 6. Is your baby easy-going or is he/she a constant struggle?
7. ¿Con qué frecuencia toman licor en casa? (tragos, copas) 7. How often do you drink at home?
8. ¿Qué tipo de drogas hay en casa?  8. What kind of drugs are there at home?

Pregunta sobre heridas/lesiones

To be able to understand the answers for these questions, you need a high level of listening comprehension in Spanish.

Spanish English
1. ¿Qué le pasó? 1. What happened to him/her/you?
2. ¿Dónde estaba?  2. Where was he/she/you?
3. ¿Cómo ocurrió? 3. How did it happen?
4. ¿Qué hacía cuando ocurrió? 4. What were he/she/you doing when it happened?
5. ¿Con quién estaba? 5. Who was he/she/you with?
6. ¿Con quién estaba?  6. Who was he/she with?
7. ¿Por qué esperó para llevar a su hijo/hija a la clínica? 7. Why do you wait to bring your kid to the clinic?

Conversaciones con niños / Conversations with Children

These questions are similar to the questions above, but they are directly for the children.

Spanish English
¿Qué te pasó? ¿Cómo ocurrió esta lesión? What happened? How did this injury happen?
¿Cómo te quemaste?  How did you burn yourself?
¿Cómo te cortaste? How did you cut yourself?
¿Qué hacías para magullarte así? What were you doing to bruise yourself like that?
¿Cómo se fracturó el brazo / la pierna?  How did the arm / leg fracture?

Conversaciones con niños sobre abuso sexual / Conversations with Children About Sexual Abuse

These are some ways to open the conversation and require a lot of delicacy as you move forward.

Spanish English
No es normal que otras personas miren o toquen sus partes íntimas It is not normal for other people to touch or look at your private parts
No es normal que te pidan mirar o tocar sus partes íntimas  It is not normal that they would ask you to look or touch their private parts
¿Alguna vez alguien te ha tocado en tus partes íntimas? Has anyone ever touched you in your private parts?
¿Alguna vez alguien te ha mostrado sus partes íntimas? Has anyone ever shown you their private parts?
¿Alguna vez alguien te ha pedido que le tocara en sus partes íntimas? Has anyone ever asked you to touch their private parts?
¿Alguien te ha amenazado o ha amenazado a alguien en su familia por hablar sobre secretos? Has anyone threatened you or threatened someone in your family for talking about secrets?
¿Alguien te ha pedido guardar un secreto “para siempre” de tus padres? Has anyone asked you to keep a “forever” secret from your parents?

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Vocabulario de anatomía y abuso / Anatomy and Abuse Vocabulary

Spanish English
Anatomía: Anatomy:
Boca  Mouth
Brazos Arms
Cachetes (Mejilla) Cheek
Caderas Hips
Cara Face
Espalda Back
Muslos Thighs
Pechos  Breasts
Pene Penis
Piernas Legs
Pompis Bottom
Vagina Vagina
Acciones: Actions:
Agarrar Grab
Amenazar Threaten
Dar cachetazos Slapping on the cheek
Dar nalgadas Spankings
Gritar  Yell
Pegar Hit
Tener miedo de… To be afraid of…

Consejos para padres con respecto a la casa / Advice for Parents Regarding the House

Spanish English
Para hacer la casa a “prueba de niños”, es buena idea: To make the house “child proof”, it is a good idea to:
Acostar al bebé en la cuna en vez de la cama Put your child to bed in the crib, not in the bed
Usar rejas de seguridad en las escaleras  Use baby gates on the stairs
Usar protectores en los tomacorrientes Use protectors on electrical outlets
No dejar los electrodomésticos enchufados Do not leave electrical appliances plugged in
No dejar que jueguen en la cocina Do not let the kids play in the kitchen
Guardar y asegurar bien los productos de limpieza Store and secure your cleaning products
Guardar los medicamentos  Store the medications
Asegurar las armas en una caja fuerte Secure your weapons in a safe

Consejos para prevención de negligencia / Advice for Prevention of Negligence

Here are some examples of the subjunctive you need to learn and understand.

Spanish English
Es importante que usted… It is important that you …
Le mantenga una mano en el bebé cuando está en la sobremesa u otro lugar alto Keep a hand on the baby when he/she is on the countertop or any other high place
Sepa que la cocina es un lugar peligroso  Know that the kitchen is a dangerous place
No permita que abra la puerta Do not allow your kid to open the door
Guarde llaves, la bolsa y pulverizadores de pimienta fuera del alcance de los niños Store your keys, bag and pepper spray out of reach of children
Baje la temperatura del calentador de agua  Lower the temperature on your water heater
Tenga un buen plan para cuando el bebé no deja de llorar: ej. Ponerlo en su cuarto o su cuna y descansar un momento o pedirle ayuda a un familiar o vecino Have a plan for when the baby doesn’t stop crying: ex. Put your baby in their room or their crib and take a break a moment or ask a relative or neighbor for help
¿Con quién puede contar cuando necesita ayuda? Who can you count on when you need help?

Thanks for learning Spanish with me today! We really help communities to improve together! 🙂

Now is your turn! ¡Ahora te toca a ti!

Study all of this child abuse vocabulary in Spanish with the flashcards here:


Download the lesson notes and start creating your own questions and phrases using this new vocabulary in Spanish and share it on the comments below or in our Facebook group to receive feedback from other Medical Spanish learners 🙂

I packaged all of this into easily downloadable .pdf notes– Get your copy for free today!

Download the Lesson Notes in Spanish TODAY

Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients! Check out our other books, classes & products to help you learn medical Spanish!

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Rory
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Rory is passionate about the Spanish language, an expert instructor, and specifically energized by the practical use of language in industry & community settings.
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