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Acute Safeguarding Essentials in Modern-day Paediatrics: Sexual Relationships, Consent and Confidentiality
  1. Helen Thomas1,
  2. Daniel Cromb2,
  3. Hannah Jacob3,
  4. Anastasia Alcock1
  1. 1Paediatric Emergency Department, Evelina London Children's Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Centre for the Developing Brain, School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences, King's College London, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Thomas, Paediatric Emergency Department, Evelina London Children's Hospital, London. SE17EH, UK; helen.thomas1{at}


As the third case in the acute safeguarding essentials in modern-day paediatrics series, this article focuses on sexual relationships, consent and confidentiality. Using the scenario of a 15-year-old girl presenting to the emergency department with a positive pregnancy test, it begins with a guide to taking a psychosocial history in young people followed by discussion about some of the legality surrounding sexual relationships in adolescents, issues around consent and considerations for confidentiality in this age group.

  • Adolescent Health
  • Child Protective Services
  • Child Welfare
  • Ethics
  • Child Health Services

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  • X @dancromb, @HannahCJacob

  • Contributors DC and HT conceived of the article. HT wrote the first draft. All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript, and all have seen and agree with the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.