When we entrust our children to a daycare, we are trusting that the daycare providers will look after our children with the same attention and care we would provide. We also trust that the administrators of the daycare have carefully chosen and trained providers to offer appropriate supervision and to protect our children. Unfortunately, daycare providers may not always be so caring.
As a parent, you may be wary of strangers, but you shouldn’t ignore signs that someone close to your child is abusing them. Many abusive daycare workers are able to continue their patterns of behavior for far too long, and often face minimal consequences for their atrocious behavior. If you suspect that your child has been abused or neglected at daycare, don’t hesitate to contact Bryan Caulfield. He is an experienced Clearwater daycare injury attorney, and he will fight to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Signs of Physical Abuse
Children can easily be the victims of unnoticed physical abuse. Young children may not be able to communicate what happened to them, or may not know to tell their parents about the abuse they’re suffering. As a parent, it’s up to you to keep a careful eye out for signs of abuse and facilitate communication to help your children talk to you about their time at daycare. There can be a number of physical signs, including:
- Marks, bumps, or bruises that don’t seem to heal
- Multiple wounds in various stages of healing
- Cuts, sores, scratches, or burns, especially on their face
- Bite marks, hand prints, or missing tufts of hair
- Impact marks, such as belts or buckles
Physical signs may be the first clue, but kids do tend to get hurt easily. If your child is particularly active or clumsy, bumps and bruises may not be particularly alarming. Behavioral cues can help you know if there may be something more sinister behind your child’s injuries. These behaviors may include:
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Apprehension about going to daycare
- Aggression of rudeness that appears suddenly
- Runaway attempts, especially from the daycare center
- A dazed or unfocused look
- Loss of concentration or poor memory
- Flinching at sudden movements
- Frequent crying
- Eagerness to please
These behavioral signs can be a sign of abuse, but they also can occur due to other circumstances. If your child is old enough to communicate verbally, you can try asking them questions about their time at daycare. These questions can be as simple as, “Are your teachers mean to you?” You can ask more open-ended questions to stimulate conversation, such as, “Did anything happen at daycare that you didn’t like?” Opening a channel of communication with your child can help them report any instances of abuse, especially if discussing their day is a regular habit.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is one of the most horrific experiences a child can go through, and the consequences can continue to affect a child throughout their life. Often, there are no physical signs of sexual abuse, and children may be hesitant to tell a parent. Threats of violence often are used to silence children. You can help prevent your child from staying silent about abuse by helping them to understand that they will never get in trouble for telling you about something that makes them uncomfortable or scared at daycare.
Some signs of sexual abuse include:
- Inappropriate ways of seeking out affection
- Soreness, pain, or itchiness in their genital area
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Talking about an older new friend
- Frequently coming home with new toys and gifts from the daycare center
- Precocious behavior or mature language
- Nightmares involving sexual situations
- Expressing that their body is repulsive or filthy
- Contraction of an STD
- Bloodstained or torn undergarments
It is critical to speak with a child psychologist if you suspect that your child has been molested or sexually abused. They can help your child begin the road to recovery and help them manage any fear, anxiety, or negative feelings stemming from their abuse. The earlier they can begin, the better. You can recover the costs of therapy, alternative child care services, and counseling through a daycare abuse lawsuit.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Abuse doesn’t have to be physical to cause serious harm to your child. Emotional abuse is just as dangerous to your child’s well-being, but can be far more difficult to notice. Behavioral changes are often the biggest indicator of emotional abuse, and can include:
- Strong changes in behavior and mood, such as sudden aggression, clinginess, depression, or withdrawal
- Lack of confidence or speaking poorly about themselves or their abilities
- Sudden changes in speech, stuttering, or talking less
- Aggression towards other children or animals
- Nightmares or other troubles sleeping
- Infantile regression, such as rocking, thumb-sucking, and head banging
If you observe signs of emotional abuse, it’s important to try to get your child to open up about their experiences at daycare. Emotional abuse can leave lasting psychological scars, which can follow your child throughout their life. Some common instances of emotional abuse include name-calling and belittling, threatening violence, striking objects near the child, pretending they’re going to hit your child, or even intentionally ignoring your child.
Signs of Neglect
Abuse doesn’t have to be an active behavior. Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide appropriate care, which can place your child in danger. Failing to adequately supervise children, provide first aid, or meet basic needs, such as diaper changes, bathroom visits, water, and food, can be considered neglectful care.
Common signs of neglect include:
- Extreme thirst or hunger
- Diaper rashes
- Untreated injuries
- The need to use the restroom when picked up from daycare or dirty diapers or clothing
- Frequent injuries cause by other children
Neglectful care can be difficult to detect. Using a daycare that provides live video feeds to parents can help you prevent daycare neglect, but if you suspect neglect, unannounced visits can help you determine if your child is being appropriately cared for.
Suspect Abuse? Don’t Wait to Speak With a Clearwater Daycare Injury Lawyer – (727) 308-6060
It can be devastating to learn that your child has been the victim of a trusted care provider’s abusive actions, but Attorney Bryan Caulfield can help your family get justice. As a Clearwater personal injury attorney, he is dedicated to helping your family get the compensation you deserve. Let us help your family get through this difficult time and move towards healing.
Call (727) 308-6060 today and ask for Bryan. Begin your case today with a free consultation.