When a child is abused, they are likely to face long-term physical, societal, behavioral, and psychological effects. If you believe your child has suffered abuse while in the care of a daycare provider or worker, speak with your spouse or partner as well as other parents who have children in the same daycare. This will allow you to make a comparison about the child’s behavior and other observations as well. If parents can learn how to recognize the signs of abuse, it will be much easier for them to take the precautions necessary to prevent it.
Types of Child Care Abuse
There are three basic types of child care abuse: physical, sexual, and emotional. It is essential for parents to understand how to recognize each of these signs in any of their children that are in a childcare program such as daycare.
Physical Child Abuse
Physical child abuse involves physical injury that occurs as a result of discipline or punishment as opposed to accidental physical injuries that occur from daily children’s activities. Some of the outward signs of physical abuse include welts, cuts, bruises, burns, fractures, and in some extreme circumstances, internal injuries.
Some of the signs parents need to be aware of that may indicate physical abuse include the following:
- Injuries that occur frequently or cuts, bruises, and welts that appear to have no explanation.
- The child always appears to have a watchful eye as if expecting something bad to happen.
- You detect injuries that appear to have a pattern of source such as a belt or hand.
- Commonly attempts to avoid touch, appears afraid to go to daycare, and flinches at sudden movements.
Emotional Child Abuse
According to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, emotional abuse involves omissions or acts the caregiver committed that caused or had the potential to cause serious mental, emotional, or cognitive disorders.
There are several methods in which a daycare provider can inflict emotional abuse that may include locking the child away from the other children from an extended period of time, using him as a scapegoat, speaking to him in a demeaning way, or rejection of treatment.
Some of the signs a parent should look for that may indicate emotional abuse include:
- Fearful, anxious, or excessively withdrawn because he is afraid of doing something wrong.
- Exhibits extremes in behavior.
- Doesn’t appear to show any attachment to the caregiver.
Neglect of the Child or Denial of Essential Care
In this respect the caregiver may refuse to provide enough food, clothing, shelter, and emotional support in addition to any other care that is necessary to maintain and preserve the child’s health. Denial of such essential components puts the child at risk developing related health conditions. Some of the signs that are indicative of neglect include:
- Dirty clothing or clothing that is not appropriate for the weather.
- Signs of malnourishment or dehydration.
- Injuries and illnesses that are not treated.
- Lack of supervision in situations that are unsafe.
Sexual abuse involves any type of sexual offense against a child by the person responsible for that child’s care. Some of the offenses that constitute sexual abuse include sexual exploitation, inappropriate contact/behavior, indecent exposure, and many other similar actions. Some of the signs parents should be on the alert for include:
- Problems sitting or walking.
- Possessing knowledge or interest in sexual activities that are not appropriate for the child’s age.
- Attempts to strongly avoid a particular person without disclosure of an obvious reason.
- Refusal to change clothes in front of other people or participate in any type of physical activity.
Contacting a Child Care/Daycare Injury Lawyer
If you believe your child has been subjected to any type of abuse while in the care of a daycare provider, you may wish to seek the services of an experienced law firm. An attorney can help you file a personal injury claim on behalf of your child, which can provide for therapy, medical treatment, and other costs related to the abuse.