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Child Abuse



What is physical abuse of a child
and how do I spot it?

Physical Indicators INCLUDE:

  • Unexplained bruises

  • Unexplained welts

  • Unexplained burns

  • Unexplained welts

  • Unexplained lumps

  • Unexplained bumps

  • Unexplained fractures

  • Unexplained lacerations or abrasions

  • Hemorrhages

  • Burns by cigarettes

  • Burns by immersion

  • Dental/oral injuries

Behavioral Indicators - Child

  • Verbally reports abuse

  • Too eager to please

  • Depression

  • Low self-esteem

  • Behavioral extremes

  • Role reversal

  • Developmental lags

  • Appears frightened of caretaker

  • Apprehensive children cry

  • Exaggerated startle response

  • School absenteeism

Behavioral Indicators of Caretaker:

  • Harsh disciplinarian

  • Describes child in a consistently negative manner

  • Defensive

  • Conceals or misleads about child's injuries

  • Substance abuser

If you suspect a child is suffering from physical abuse, report your suspicions to Child Protective Services

What is neglect of a child
and how to I spot it?


Neglect is a less obvious form of abuse.
Neglect is a chronic failure to meet basic needs of a child for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education or supervision.

Physical Indicators of neglect include:

  • Flat, bald spots on infant's head

  • Dirty, smelly or torn, dirty or
    inappropriate clothing for the

  • Developmental lags

  • Underweight

Behavioral Indicators of neglect on a child may include:

  • Listless

  • Begging/stealing food

  • Constant fatigue

  • Alcohol or drug use

  • Reports being left alone

Behavioral Characteristics of Caretaker often include:

  • Substance abuser

  • Chaotic life style

  • Apathetic

  • Expects too much of child

If you suspect a child is suffering from neglect, report
it to Child Protective Services in your area. If immediate attention is needed, call 911.

For more information, see these links:


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