Child Care: Recognizing Child Abuse & Neglect

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About 678,000 children in the United States were subjected to abuse or neglect in 2018. Children often experience abuse from individuals who are close, such as parents, caregivers, and other family members providing child care. Understanding the signs can help prevent children from being abused and neglected.

What Is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is when the actions of an individual, such as a parent or caregiver, cause serious injuries, emotional distress, or even death.

Types of Abuse

There are several types of abuse, such as:

Physical abuse: This type of abuse happens when an individual intentionally causes physical injury. Physical abuse can include behavior such as beating, kicking, choking, throwing, burning, or biting.

Emotional abuse: This type of abuse happens when a parent or caregiver constantly exhibits behaviors that cause extreme emotional harm which include rejection, humiliation or shaming, belittling, isolating, and frequent criticism.

Sexual abuse: This type of abuse happens when an adult has any sexual contact with a child. The actions typically include forcing the child to view pornographic material, forcing the child to view sexual acts, or making the child view private body parts.

Signs of Physical Abuse

There are multiple signs of physical abuse to be watchful for, including:

  • Visible and serious injuries that are unexplained such as black eyes, bruises, burns, or broken bones.
  • Fading marks or bruises are noticed following an absence from school or daycare.
  • The child claims he/she was injured by their parent or caregiver.
  • The child is afraid of one or both of their parents.
  • The child has self-destructive behavior.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

The following are the signs of emotional abuse:

  • The child is regularly yelled at, criticized, or blamed.
  • The parent has anger management issues.
  • The child is overly obedient or aggressive.
  • The child has delays in emotional or physical development.
  • The child has severe antisocial behaviors.
  • The child displays habits such as biting, thumb sucking, or rocking.

Signs of Sexual Abuse

The following are signs of sexual abuse:

  • The child has constant yeast infections or urinary tract infections.
  • The child finds it difficult to walk or sit.
  • Contracted an STD
  • Lack of self-esteem and poor sense of self-confidence.
  • The child seems anxious, depressed, or withdrawn.
  • Poor adult supervision
  • Undergarments are bloody or stained.
  • A sudden negative change in performance at school.

What Is Child Neglect?

Child neglect is when a parent fails to adequately provide basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, education, and medical care. Child neglect can also include a substantial lack of supervision that puts the child’s well-being, safety, and health in jeopardy.

Types of Child Neglect

There are different types of neglect to be mindful of, such as:

Physical neglect: Does not provide basic needs for the child, including food, shelter, and clothing.

Emotional neglect: The parent does not provide for the child’s emotional needs, or the child has been exposed to substance abuse or domestic violence.

Medical neglect: The child’s medical needs are not addressed, or the parent fails to get necessary medical treatment for the child.

Educational neglect: The parent frequently allows the child to have excessive absences or does not enroll the child in school.

Poor supervision: The child is left home alone while being unable to care for themselves or is left with individuals who cannot properly care for the child.

Signs of Child Neglect

Multiple signs are red flags of possible child neglect, including:

  • Has hygiene issues or bad body odor.
  • Lacking basic medical or dental care.
  • Excessive absences from school.
  • Lacks adequate clothing, especially during certain weather conditions.
  • Begs for money or food.
  • The child is left in unsafe environments.
  • The parent is seemingly depressed.
  • The parent has substance abuse issues.

How Child Neglect or Abuse Is Reported in Broward County

Childcare providers, teachers, and medical professionals are considered to be mandated reporters, and they are required to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect. In Florida, abuse and neglect are reported through the Department of Children and Families.

If you know a child who is currently in an abusive or neglectful situation, you can also call The National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD or 1-800-422-4453.

Childcare in Broward County

If you’re considering enrolling your child, our team at Parkland Children’s Academy is committed to providing outstanding early education. We offer many benefits, including full-time and part-time VPK, Spring, Winter, and Summer Camps, and a specialized infant care facility.

If you would like to learn more, call us today at 954-688-5877.

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