|(a) Physical abuse is a subset of the statutory definitions
of abuse that appear in Texas Family Code §261.001(1) and includes
the following acts or omissions by a person:
(1) Physical injury that results in substantial harm
to the child, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical
injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with
the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable
discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator
that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm;
(2) Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent
an action by another person that results in physical injury that results
in substantial harm to the child;
(3) The current use by a person of a controlled substance
as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, in a manner or
to the extent that the use results in physical injury to a child;
(4) Causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a
child to use a controlled substance as defined by Chapter 481, Health
and Safety Code.
(b) In this section, the following terms have the following
(1) "Accident" means an unforeseen, unexpected, or
unplanned act or event that occurs unintentionally and causes or threatens
physical injury despite exercising the care and diligence that a reasonable
and prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances to avoid
the risk of injury.
(2) "Genuine threat of substantial harm from physical
injury" means declaring or exhibiting the intent or determination
to inflict real and significant physical injury or damage to a child.
The declaration or exhibition does not require actual physical contact
or injury. It includes but is not limited to the following acts or
attempt to commit the following acts: strangling as defined in §22.01(b)(2)(B),
Penal Code; suffocating; shaking; hitting a child on the head; hitting,
kicking, or punching a child's body parts or organs; throwing a child;
throwing an object at a child; stabbing; shooting; or otherwise committing
a violent act against a child.
(3) "Guardian" has the same definition as specified
in §700.477(d) of this title (relating to What do the following
additional terms mean?).
(4) "Managing or possessory conservator" has the same
definition as specified in §700.477(f) of this title.
(5) "Parent" has the same definition as specified in
§700.477(g) of this title.
(6) "Physical injury that results in substantial harm
to the child" means real and significant physical injury or damage
to a child that includes but is not limited to:
(A) Any of the following, if caused by an action of
the alleged perpetrator directed toward the alleged victim: substantial
or frequent skin bruising; substantial cuts, welts, lacerations, or
pinch marks; skull or other bone fractures; damage to cartilage; brain
damage; subdural hematoma; soft tissue swelling; impairment of or
injury to any bodily organ or function; any other internal injury
otherwise not specified; permanent or temporary disfigurement; burns;
scalds; wounds, including puncture wounds; bite marks; causing or
permitting a child to consume or inhale a poisonous or noxious substance
that has the capacity to interfere with normal physiological functions;
exposing a child to dangerous chemicals; starvation; concussions;
dislocations; sprains; subjecting a child to Munchausen syndrome by
proxy or a fictitious illness by proxy if the incident is confirmed
by medical personnel; death; or any other cruel act that causes pain
or suffering to the child.
(B) Any of the following conditions that occur in an
infant under the age of one because of the pregnant mother's use of
alcohol or a controlled substance that was not lawfully prescribed
by a medical practitioner, was lawfully prescribed as a result of
the mother seeking out multiple health care providers as a means of
exceeding ordinary dosages, or was not being used in accordance with
a lawfully issued prescription, if the mother knew or reasonably should
have known she was pregnant:
(i) A physician's written diagnosis of physical manifestations
of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Effect, which includes
Alcohol-Related Birth Defects and Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental
(ii) A physician's written opinion that the newborn
was harmed from in utero exposure to alcohol or a controlled substance;
(iii) A physician's diagnosis of Neonatal Abstinence
(C) Any of the following physical injuries to a child
of any age caused by a person's use of a controlled substance other
than prenatal use: illness; interference with normal physiological
functions or motor coordination; or any other physical harm directly
related to the person's current use, manufacture, or possession of
the controlled substance.
(7) "Reasonable discipline" means discipline that is
reasonable in manner and moderate in degree; does not constitute cruelty,
reckless behavior, or grossly negligent behavior; and is administered
for purposes of restraining or correcting the child. It shall not
include an act that is likely to cause or causes injury more serious
than transient pain or minor temporary marks. The age, size, and condition
of the child; the location of the injury; and the frequency or recurrence
of injuries shall be considered when determining whether the discipline
is reasonable and moderate.
(8) "...reasonable effort to prevent..." means actions
that a person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare
would have taken to protect a child from abuse the person knew or
reasonably should have known was occurring. It is not required for
that person to have directly perpetrated the abuse.
(9) "Substantial risk" means a real and significant
possibility or likelihood.