How to spot physical abuse

How can you tell whether a child is physically abused? According to Childline Gauteng there are a number of physical and behavioural signs that may indicate abuse.

Physical Signs:

  • Unexplained bruises or marks
  • Unexplained burns
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations (cuts)
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Bite marks
  • Bruises on the head
  • Unbelievable explanations for injuries

Behavioural Signs:

  • Child is nervous of physical contact with adults
  • Child cries when it is time to leave a protected environment
  • Absence from school
  • Double dressing
  • Habit disorders
  • Slowing down in intellectual and emotional development

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(Ilse Pauw, Health24)

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