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OHA guidance for healthcare for minors

​​If you're wondering about the legal requirements for providing health care for minors, here is a publication by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) regarding providing health care​ to minors. This isn't optometry law, so Board staff cannot consult with you on these issues. If you have questions, please reach out to the Oregon Health Authority.

Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse

Optometric Physicians: as a Mandatory Reporter you must report suspected child abuse.

Oregon law recognizes these types of abuse:

Physical injury

Bruises, welts, burns, cuts, broken bones, sprains, bites, etc., which are deliberately inflicted.

Injuries may:

  • Be in the shape of the article used (electric cord, belt buckle, etc.)
  • Not match children's description of how they occurred (fracture from falling off the sofa, etc.)


Failure to provide food, shelter, medicine, etc. to such a degree that a child's health and safety are endangered.

Children often:

  • Don't want to leave school
  • Are constantly tired
  • Are left alone with no supervision
  • Have unmet physical, emotional, or medical needs

Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation

Any sexual contact in which a child is used to sexually stimulate another person is illegal. This may be anything from rape to fondling to involving a child in pornography.

Children often have:

  • Difficulty walking or sitting; pain or itching in the genital area; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Poor peer relationships; fantasy or infantile behavior; fear of being left with someone
  • Inappropriate interest in, knowledge of, or acting out of sexual matters
  • Any of the behavioral problems listed under "Mental Injury."

Threat of harm

Any action, statement, written, or non-verbal message which is serious enough to make a child believe he or she is in danger of being abused.

Children may exhibit any of the behaviors listed on this page.

Mental injury

A continuing pattern of rejecting, terrorizing, ignoring, isolating, or corrupting a child, resulting in serious damage to the child.

Children often:

  • Have speech or sleep disorders
  • Fail to grow normally
  • Are very aggressive or withdrawn
  • Show an abnormal need for emotional support

Child selling

Buying, selling, or trading for legal or physical custody of a child.Does not apply to legitimate adoption or domestic relations planning. 

If you think a child is being abused, you must report it to the State Office for Services to Children and Families (SCF) or a law enforcement agency. More than half of the children seen by SCF were referred by mandatory reporters. You may be their best hope.....​​​

DHS Reporting Abuse and Neglect web page for more information on mandatory reporting requirements​