Parents often overlook signs that their child has been abused. Unfortunately, child abuse happens. If your child is in day care, stays with a relative, or even goes to school every day, you must know the signs of child abuse and what to look for.
Children who are abused often exhibit behavioural changes. Your outgoing six year old may suddenly become passive and clingy. Or, a well behaved child may become ill mannered and act out. Behavioural changes are a sign that something is going on.
Children may be reluctant to tell on someone. They may feel guilt or think that the abuse happened to them because they had been bad. Therefore, it is important to start talking to your child when they are young about the times that they are away from you. If you consistently ask them about what happens when they are away, they will be more likely to tell you when something bad happens. You have to let them know that it’s alright to tell you when something happens that they did not like.
If your child is not yet old enough to communicate, you must be watchful of the signs of abuse.
Signs of physical abuse:
Crying and not wanting to go to day care, a relative’s house, or a babysitter
Having unexplained bruises
Having a repeat injury
Suddenly fearing adults
Signs of emotional abuse:
Loss of appetite
Signs of sexual abuse:
Bleeding in the genital area
Pain in the genital or anal area
Reoccurring urinary tract infections
If you suspect that any type of abuse has happened to your child, contact the authorities immediately.