January/February 2001Vol. 2, No. 1Helping Parents Recognize Child Abuse
The Nemours Foundation's website, KidsHealth.org, helps families answer a wide range of health and wellness questions. In its area for parents, a new article describes how to recognize signs of child abuse.
In defining the four types of abuse--physical, physical neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse--the article details specific actions taken by the perpetrator to harm the child. Shaken baby/shaken impact syndrome, which is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States, is also listed as a specific form of child abuse. Besides physical signs of abuse, such as bruises, black eyes, and broken bones, parents are cautioned to look for less obvious behavioral signs of abuse.
The article instructs parents about what steps to take if abuse is suspected and how to get help for themselves if they are the abuser. It discusses the importance of raising awareness in children, so they know how to recognize and report abuse. Tips are also provided to help a child heal from an abusive experience, including seeking medical and psychological help.
Accompanying the article are a list of related KidsHealth.org stories on helping your child cope with night terrors, bullying, stress, anxiety, fears, and phobias. Links to other organizations for additional information on child abuse prevention are also provided.
Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse is available online at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/signs_child_abuse.html.