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Signs of Daycare Abuse

Sad little girl sitting on floor indoors

We trust daycare services with the most precious, and most vulnerable, part of our lives: Our children. We expect that the daycare center will take good and proper care of our children, keeping them healthy, safe, and engaged. Unfortunately, the worst people take advantage of the most vulnerable members of the population. Daycare centers may either fail to conduct proper background checks on new hires or fail to adequately train and supervise their employees, leaving unqualified if not downright cruel and despicable people in charge of children. For a discussion of how to identify the signs of daycare abuse, read on. If you suspect your child is being subjected to neglect or abuse at a North Texas daycare, call a dedicated Dallas child abuse attorney for assistance.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Daycare abuse can manifest in several ways. Some children may experience physical abuse, which occurs when caregivers physically assault the children. Punching, kicking, choking, shoving, scratching, biting, shaking, and other forms of physical assault can occur.

Your child could be suffering from physical abuse if you notice symptoms including:

  • Unexplained bruising and other injuries (black eyes, cuts, scratches, bite marks, burns)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Child becomes shy, withdrawn, clingy, or overly fearful
  • Child becomes overly aggressive with pets, siblings, or other children
  • Flinching in response to your movements or touches
  • Unusual reaction to other innocuous events such as noises
  • They show reluctance or put up a fight about going to daycare
  • Other behavioral changes at home or school

Any serious injury–broken ribs, fractured wrists, even serious bruising–should be explainable. If your child is not yet walking, there is no reason for them to suffer any of these types of injuries, and any such injury is a likely sign of physical abuse.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse occurs when a caregiver screams at, taunts, berates, deliberately neglects, or otherwise systematically psychologically assaults a child. Children suffering from emotional abuse may display several psychological and behavioral symptoms, including:

  • Changes in their response to parental attention–either shunning the parents’ affection or becoming overly clingy
  • Sudden behavioral shifts, such as switching from being outgoing to suddenly shy, or going from mild-mannered to overly aggressive
  • Become withdrawn or otherwise less talkative, or developing a speech impediment such as a stutter
  • Psychosomatic illnesses, such as complaining of a headache, stomachache, or lack of appetite with no physical cause
  • Fearful behavior, such as nightmares, night terrors, and other difficulty sleeping
  • Depressive or anxious behavior
  • Behavior that is inappropriately infantile, or inappropriately adult, given their age and development

You know your child better than anyone. If they are acting unusually, especially after starting at a new daycare, they might be experiencing emotional or psychological abuse.

Signs of Sexual Abuse

Identifying sexual abuse can be even more difficult. Sexual abusers are often gifted at manipulation and know how to convince a child to keep quiet. Watch out for behavioral changes that could indicate sexual abuse, including:

  • Displaying inappropriate sexual behavior or knowledge
  • Trouble sleeping and nightmares
  • Atypical anxiety and fearfulness
  • Regressing to infant-like behavior, such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting, after these behaviors had ceased in the child’s development
  • Physical signs, including bruising or bleeding around the genitals, trouble/reluctance sitting down, and painful urination or bowel movements
  • Behavioral changes including becoming overly shy/withdrawn or overly aggressive/angry

If you believe your child has faced abuse or neglect in a Texas daycare center, please contact the Turley Law Firm online or call 214-691-4025 or email turley@wturley.com today to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced Dallas attorneys serve clients throughout Texas and multiple Southern and Southwestern states.

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