The following are a few of the physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse and neglect.
- Unexplained burns, cuts, bruises, or welts in the shape of an object
- Bite marks
- Antisocial behavior
- Problems in school
- Fear of adults
- Hostility or stress
- Lack of concentration
- Eating disorders
- Inappropriate interest or knowledge of sexual acts
- Nightmares and bed wetting
- Drastic changes in appetite
- Overcompliance or excessive aggression
- Fear of a particular person or family member
- Unsuitable clothing for weather
- Dirty or unbathed
- Extreme hunger
- Apparent lack of supervision
For a more extensive list of the signs of abuse, call the Childhelp USA? National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD?
Please note that the listed indicators in each category may pertain to more than one type of abuse or neglect. For example, "lack of concentration" could be a sign of sexual abuse, as well as emotional abuse. Those indicated in bold lettering tend to be the most common signs and symptoms.
Copyright ? 2005, Childhelp Inc. All rights reserved.
Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, July 2005.