Child Abuse: Signs or symptoms of abuse in children. Warning signs of physical abuse, neglect, mental emotional, and sexual abuse of a child. Mental and emotional abuse are harder to spot than physical or sexual abuse. It's the law: child abuse must be reported.

Abuse

Abuse of Children:
The Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse.

Joy Stevens

There are many warning signs of child abuse. Once you suspect a child is being abused, report it to the proper authorities. That's the law and it is the only choice when children are involved in abuse.

 There are many warning signs of abuse of children. One sign, one or two times, does not necessarily mean anything. Keep watching before you jump to conclusions but once you are reasonably sure, report it to the proper authorities. That's the law and the only choice when children are involved.

Physical Abuse: 
Sores, burns, bruises on body. A reluctance or vagueness about where these originated. 
Bruises and burns are the most persistent physical symptoms.

Neglect: 
Soiled diapers, dirty hair, unwashed clothes, body odor. Sometimes weight loss and lackluster skin and/or hair can indicate neglect, particularly in a proper or sufficient diet.

Emotional or Mental Abuse: 
This is harder to tell. Abused children often become quiet but that is not always a way to tell. Lack of self-esteem is another way to tell but again, that does not mean children are abused.

Sexual Abuse: 
There are warning signs of sexual abuse of children, too. Precocious behavior; sexual knowledge, through language or behavior, that is beyond what is normal for their age; copying adult sexual behavior;  inappropriate sexual behavior such as kissing on the mouth and/or attempting to insert tongue in your mouth; soreness, redness, chaffing around genitals; habitual sleeping with parent of opposite sex in pre-teen or older; reluctance or outright refusal to let you wash or dry those parts of  the body; persistent sexual play with other children, themselves, toys or pets.

Remember that inappropriate touching is also sexual abuse. This is not uncommon, particularly when alcohol or drugs are involved. 

Additional information about abuse and being abused.

 


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