Bruising / Marks on non-mobile infants – guidance for practitioners

Infants who have yet to acquire independent mobility (rolling/crawling) should not have bruises/ marks or other injuries without a clear explanation.

Numerous serious case reviews, both locally and nationally, have identified the need for heightened concern about any bruising in any pre-mobile baby. Any bruising is likely to come from external sources and should raise child protection concerns.

It is also important to be aware that serious case reviews have repeatedly shown that infants can sustain serious injuries without any visible bruising. Consider injury as a possible cause where an infant appears to be in discomfort or not using a limb.

We have adopted the Greater Manchester ‘Bruising Protocol for Immobile Babies and Children‘ which can be found at

Further resources:



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