Child abuse is sad and disturbing. Children are innocent and should not be subjected to abuse someone they love and trust. Before child abuse can stop, you must be able to recognize that abuse is happening. Below are signs to look for if you suspect physical child abuse.
- Broken bones, frequent injuries, unexplained bruises or cuts are all signs of physical abuse. Children do get hurt, there is no doubt about it. But if the injuries are frequent or seem to be unexplained, it could be physical abuse.
- The child is always “on alert.” If a child is constantly looking around or seems to be watching for something to happen, that is a sign of abuse. Physically abused children are just waiting for something bad to happen to them again.
- Shies away from touch. If a child shies away from a simple touch or hug, that is also a sign. Physically abused children flinch at the first sign of touch. Noticeable flinching and unexplained shyness are signs of abuse.
- Check if the injuries have a pattern. Can you make out a hand or belt mark? If the bruises and welts have a pattern, it could be abuse.
- Inappropriate clothing. Is it 90 degrees outside and the child is wearing a long sleeved shirt? This could be because the child is hiding bruises on his arm or does not want someone else to see the injury. Clothing that is inappropriate for the weather is another warning sign.
If you suspect physical abuse, do not hesitate to call the proper authorities. You owe it to the child to get him some help and stop the abuse. Children cannot stop abuse on their own. They need the help of a responsible adult. Don’t wait until the abuse happens again. Help save a child’s life by reporting abuse immediately.