You might read about daycare abuse in Texas newspapers, but you might know less about daycare neglect. Unfortunately, although daycare neglect gets less press, it is still a dangerous problem in Dallas childcare centers. Here are signs of daycare neglect:
Sexual daycare abuse can be absolutely devastating – and in many cases, parents ask themselves why they didn’t know that there was a problem sooner. Children are often too young to tell their parents about sexual abuse, or else they have been threatened by their abuser not to tell. Be sure to look out for the red flags of daycare sexual abuse:
In far too many cases, physical daycare abuse goes unchecked in Texas because children are not able to tell their parents what is happening to them. Because young children often do not have the ability or understanding to report daycare abuse, it is all the more important for parents to look for the signs of physical daycare abuse:
Emotional and verbal abuse over an extended period of time can lead to very serious and long-term psychological trauma. Some behavioral indicators of daycare emotional abuse include:
Some physical indicators of emotional abuse could include a developmental disorders, significant change in weight, and nervous disorders.
Most children who attend daycare are too young to fully understand daycare abuse – and also too young to learn about it generally. The best way to educate your child about daycare abuse is to simply make sure that they know their boundaries and know that they should tell an authority figure about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Before your children go to daycare, make sure your young children understand that:
It can be very frightening to accuse someone of daycare abuse, especially if you cannot often be certain that it has taken place. But if you even suspect that your child is suffering from abuse at their daycare facility, there are two important steps to take:
Much of the sexual and physical abuse and exploitation associated with daycare centers occurs at the hands of individuals not directly involved in teaching or child-care responsibilities: bus drivers, janitors, and relatives of the daycare center providers. In 36 percent of the cases examined by a nationwide study of daycare abuse, children were sexually molested by family members related to the daycare provider.
In cases of neglect, many times there can be child to child injuries where supervision or staffing was not adequate.
In such a serious situation it is always a good idea to consult with someone who has experience in handling these situations and can advise you of the best course of action. It is best to seek out a knowledgeable attorney as soon as you become aware of the incident so that you do not run the risk of going beyond a time limit for taking action.
Ensuring that all workers at a prospective daycare have had criminal record checks and fingerprinting done is a good first step. In addition, parents should ask about any non-daycare workers that may be visiting the daycare and meet not just the administrators but the teachers, workers and anyone that will be having day-to-day interaction with your child. Double-check that the daycare is licensed with your Children and Family Services Office and that there is an adequate staff to child ratio are also essential steps.
Some apparent signs of possible abuse or neglect to be aware of are physical injuries such as bruises, broken bones, abrasions, burns, etc.
Among the less evident indicators are sudden changes in a child’s behavior; a normally quiet and calm child may begin to lash out or a usually lively child can become withdrawn.
A child who abruptly begins to put up a struggle about going to daycare is also a cause for concern and should be investigated.