As shocking as it may seem, the people who we entrust with the safety of our children sometimes end up being the ones responsible for causing them harm. Parents often spend a great deal of time hoping to find a daycare facility that they feel suits their needs and appears to be a caring, safe environment for their children – and, certainly one free abuse and neglect. Most day care facilities do provide a good care, but it is always necessary to be conscious of any warning signs that can signal a daycare abuse or daycare neglect situation, so that you can take action quickly.
Physical abuse at daycare consists of any intentional injury inflicted on a child by a care provider. It is often one of the easier forms of abuse to spot because there can be obvious marks on the child’s body such as burns, bruises, broken bones and cuts. A child may not show any outward signs of harm, but complain of other aches or pains which could signal internal injuries. Of course, children do injure themselves accidentally, so it is important to thoroughly investigate any of these possible signs, and not simply jump to conclusions. Some behavioral issues that may also signal a problem are sudden changes in personality, such as a normally quiet child who starts lashing out or a usually active child who becomes withdrawn, abrupt unwillingness to attend daycare, unease when other children are upset, unusual clinginess, or uncommon wariness of adults.
Daycare workers should be forthcoming with information about any accidents a child has had while at daycare. If you feel uneasy about any explanation it is important to investigate further or remove your child from the situation. Sometimes daycare injuries occur, not because of something the daycare worker has done, but because of something he or she has not done.
Daycare neglect or child neglect is a serious issue too, and potentially just as dangerous. In this kind of situation, children are not being monitored and supervised appropriately. This type of abuse is particularly terrifying when it involves very young children who can do little to nothing for themselves and cannot report the situation to parents. Just as with physical abuse, physical injuries can be a sign of neglect too, as can an unkempt appearance, a sudden fear of abandonment and extreme hunger after returning home from daycare. Again, these signs do not necessarily signal daycare neglect, but should be looked into and questioned.
Not every situation that looks suspicious is actually indicative of physical abuse or neglect, but must be looked into seriously. Daycare providers should have open communication with parents on a regular basis, not just when questioned. Also, it should be noted, that in some of these abusive situations, the daycare provider may not see his or her actions as abuse. They may think that the actions taken were justified, so it may be more difficult to detect any feelings of guilt.
If you have a child who has been affected by daycare abuse or neglect you should speak with a qualified attorney. We handle daycare abuse cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and will be happy to assess your case free of charge.