FAQs About Pedi-SANE Program

The Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (Pedi-SANE) Program provides direct care to child victims of sexual abuse and assault throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Pedi-SANEs provide coordinated, expert forensic and medical care for child victims 11 years of age and younger.

What is a Pedi-SANE exam?

A Pedi-SANE exam ensures first and foremost the health and well-being of the child. It also provides photo documentation of possible physical and forensic findings, along with allowing for the collection of evidence that may be present on the child’s body or clothing using the Pediatric Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit.

What other services do Pediatric SANEs provide for children and families?

The Pedi-SANE provides support, teaching, and anticipatory guidance to children and families referred to the Children’s Advocacy Center through face to face and telephone consultation. Skilled intervention provides a sense of well-being and normalcy to not only the abused children, but to their family.

Will the Pedi-SANE exam hurt my child?

Pedi-SANE exams are non-invasive and virtually painless. It is important to follow the concept of caring for children who have been sexually abused by following the “Stop Rule.” At any time during the exam, the child can say “stop” and the exam will result in coming to a close. That will honor the child’s boundaries and offer them safety and control required.

Will the Pedi-SANE consult with my child’s pediatrician?

Yes, Pedi-SANEs will provide interpretation of forensic exam findings and act as an important liaison between the the child’s parent or guardian and their pediatrician.

If a child is not cooperative during an exam, is another examination always rescheduled?

If a child is uncooperative, the importance of repeating the exam would be based on the child’s clinical presentation and the level of concern for injury based on the allegations. There are times when it is determined that it is probably not in the best interest of the child to attempt another exam. Those decisions are made in conjunction with the child’s parent.

Did You Know?

There are only 7 Pedi-SANE nurses in Massachusetts, all of which are located in Children’s Advocacy Centers.

Joan Sham, RN, MS

The Pediatric SANE Associate Director of the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE)