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4-5. Behavior of Adult Suspected of Child Abuse

No single sign is proof of child abuse or mistreatment. It is a pattern of repeated suspicious injuries that is strong evidence of child abuse. Behavior of parents who bring a child to a medical facility for treatment may alert you that a problem exists. The following are indicators that parents are abusing their children:

a. Parent is abnormally nervous.

b. Parent is reluctant to volunteer information or gives contradictory information. When children hurt themselves, the parents can usually provide a large number of details about what happened and how it happened. A parent who keeps changing the story of how the child was injured may be trying to cover up child abuse. Accidents happen in every family. What is important to know is that it was an accident.

c. Parent is hostile toward the child.

d. Parent blames others for the child's injury; for example, the babysitter, a neighbor, or other children in the family.

e. Parent shows too much concern for what appears to be a minor injury.

f. Parent shows no concern and seems disinterested or unaware of the child's condition. The parent is more concerned with himself than the injured child.

g. Parent refuses to hospitalize the child.

h. The story told by the parents does not seem a logical explanation for the particular injuries the child has.

i. The child was injured several days earlier. Parents who do not abuse their children seek medical care immediately when a child is injured. Abusive parents, on the other hand, often delay treatment, pretending the event did not happen or that the injury is not serious and will take care of itself.

j. The injured child has been seen at several different medical treatment facilities recently for injuries. Abusive parents take an often injured child to different doctors or hospital emergency rooms, hoping to avoid detection of child abuse.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015