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Learn the Risks

Recognizing a Child’s Behavior

Physical Abuse Signs and Symptoms

  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, fractures, or burns
  • Injuries that don’t match the given explanation
  • Untreated medical or dental problems

Neglect Signs and Symptoms*

  • Poor growth, weight gain, or hygiene
  • Lack of clothing or supplies to meet physical needs
  • Taking food or money without permission
  • Eating a lot in one sitting or hiding food for later
  • Poor record of school attendance
  • Signs of untreated medical or dental problems

*Please note that families of any socio-economic status can experience signs of neglect.

Sexual Abuse Signs and Symptoms

  • Sexual behavior or knowledge that’s not age-appropriate
  • Blood in the child’s underwear
  • Trouble walking or sitting or complaints of genital pain
  • Abuse of other children sexually

Emotional Abuse Signs and Symptoms

  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Headaches or stomachaches with no medical cause
  • Avoidance of certain situations
  • A decrease in school performance

How Can I Make a Difference?

Whether you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or just want to make a positive impact in the life of a family, it only takes a minute:

  • To reach out to a child
  • To reach out to a caregiver or child in distress
  • To reach out for support if you’re a caregiver in distress
  • For an unsupervised child to get hurt
  • To help find the caregiver of an unattended child
  • To report suspected child abuse
  • To call law enforcement

If you recognize the outlined warning signs or suspect a child may be at risk, contact the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at: 855-OH-CHILD