As you send your child off to daycare, they're bound to feel a little nervous. But where does natural childhood apprehension end and true cause for concern begin? Have you ever wondered how the daycare staff is treating your child? Do you even suspect there might be abuse?
Even if a child has been going to the same daycare for years, staff members and the daycare environment can change. It's important that you monitor their behavior and understand signs and symptoms of abuse to look out for.
Statistics on Child Abuse in America
- 68.2 percent of children are neglected
- 16.6 percent of children experience physical abuse
- 7.1 percent of children experience emotional abuse
- 2.0 percent of children will suffer medical neglect
Unfortunately, in most cases of child abuse, the perpetrators are the child's parents. According to the American Humane Association, about four percent of all child abuse cases happen at daycare centers.
Signs and Symptoms of Child Daycare Abuse
Some signs of child abuse are obvious, like unexplained bruises. Others, however, aren't so clear.
- Speech disorders that aren't usually present
- Nervous disorders like skin rashes, hives and excessive nervous behavior
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Habits like rocking or head banging
- A sudden increase in behavioral outbursts or extremes; trouble controlling emotions
- Lack of trust in relationships
- Unexplained and recurrent injuries, like scrapes, cuts and bruises
- Sudden fear of adult contact
- Feelings of abnormal hunger when the child arrives home
This list covers just a few of the many signs and symptoms of child abuse. Always pay attention to any change in your child's behavior, as it could be a sign of negligence on the part of the child care center.
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What to Do If You Suspect Daycare Abuse in Texas
If you think your child might be the victim of daycare abuse, pull them from the center immediately and seek help. You can report your concerns to your child's doctor. (Remember, doctor's are legally obligated to report signs of child abuse).
Additionally, you can contact the local police to file a report. Afterwards, a social worker will contact you to discuss the occurrence.
Last, you can consult an attorney. An attorney can help walk you though your legal rights as a parent and can advise you on whether or not you have a case.
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