Make sure you can recognize signs of child abuse and neglect, such as changes in mood or personality, unexplained physical injuries, and more. If you suspect your child may be the victim of daycare abuse, first secure your child’s safety and then contact a child injury lawyer in Columbia to review legal options.
While daycare is intended to be a safe, caring environment for your child while you’re away, this isn’t always the case. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2010 there were about 95,750 reported incidents of child neglect and abuse in the United States committed by perpetrators other than the victim’s parents. About 2,700 of those were committed by the child’s daycare provider.
Signs and Symptoms
There are various types of abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual, so the signs and symptoms to watch for may vary. Be on the lookout for any noticeable changes in your child, both in behavior and physical appearance.
Watch for these warning signs of child abuse and neglect:
- personality changes;
- bloody underwear;
- aversion to physical contact;
- fear or anxiety around adults;
- mood changes, like depression;
- itching, burning or pain in the genitals;
- decreased social interaction and withdrawal;
- sleeping problems, bedwetting or nightmares;
- unexplained bruising, lacerations, burns or welts;
- interest in, or knowledge of, sexual behavior; and
- loss of appetite.
If you notice one or more of these signs, it is important to speak to your child and encourage him or her to be open and honest about what is happening. If your child is too young or is uncooperative, consider speaking to the parents of other children at the daycare center.
See if other parents have noticed similar signs of child abuse and neglect. If so, your suspicions may be substantiated and it may be time to contact the authorities and a child injury lawyer in Columbia, SC. If other parents have not noticed such signs, it still may be worth bringing your concerns to the proper entity.
What to do Next
If you’ve noticed signs or symptoms of abuse and feel there may be cause for alarm, get help as soon as possible. Call the police if you believe your child is in immediate danger, or contact the child abuse hotline at 800-4-A-CHILD. They can connect you with local resources for reporting abuse. You can also contact the South Carolina Department of Child Protective Services. CPS will assign a caseworker to your child who will investigate the claim of abuse and work to ensure your child remains safe.
Next, get in touch with a child injury lawyer in Columbia, SC. In addition to a criminal case, you may have grounds for a civil claim against your child’s daycare provider for any injuries, medical bills, suffering, or other damages the abuse has caused your child and your family.
Did you notice signs of child abuse and neglect with regard to one of your children? Learn your legal options by speaking to a child injury lawyer in Columbia, SC at the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger. Call (803) 790-2800 today.