Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Recognizing Signs of Child Neglect and Abuse

http://voices.yahoo.com/recognizing-signs-child-neglect-abuse-3321814.html?cat=25

Dawn Hawkins, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Many of us don't make a habit of looking for signs of an abused or neglected child. We think of all parents as those that take good care of their young. Because we can't imagine abuse doesn't mean that others don't do it. It is an unfortunate fact that children are abused and neglected every single day. It is up to the rest of the world to put a stop to it. In order to do that you must be able to recognize the signs.

Here are some of the signs of child abuse and neglect:

Obvious Signs

Children get bruises from everyday playing situations. This can also mean that they are being abused. Pay attention to whether the child often has unexplainable bruises or cuts. This is the most obvious way to tell if a child is being abused. It is also one of the most overlooked signs. People assume that the child is clumsy and gets hurt a lot because of it. This is a dangerous myth and must be dispelled. Although bumps and bruises do occur, when they occur often, something is generally wrong.

Dirty

Children who are neglected will often be unkempt and dirty. This can happen just because the child was playing but if it happens on a regular basis, such as when the child starts school in the morning, there is probably a neglect or abuse problem. His/her parents don't take the time to make sure the child has a bath or takes care of themselves.

Withdrawal

If a child is very withdrawn, such as not being interactive with other children, it could be a sign of abuse or neglect. Children who are suffering these situations often have low self-esteem. This causes him or her to be withdrawn from others.

Secretive

Children are natural talkers. They will tell nearly everything that goes on in their homes. If a child is very secretive about their home life, there is probably an issue that they fear being released. Abused or neglected children are often told not to tell anyone about what happened. They can also be threatened in order to ensure they won't talk. That is why they are secretive about their home life.

Acting Out

Abused or neglected children don't really know how to handle their situation. They wish that someone would save them but they aren't allowed to talk about it. This leads to a great deal of anger that is being held in. The child eventually releases the anger on innocent people around them. They become behavior problems. What may really be happening is that the child is being abused or neglected. It is a scream for help but one that no one understands or catches onto.

Abused and neglected children need the adults around them to recognize the signs. They can't do anything about what is happening to them. They are helpless but you are not. Make the difference on a child's life and learn how to recognize the signs and take steps to stop it from happening.