Whether you are a family friend, educator or caring stranger, the wellbeing of the children you encounter in your daily life in Pennsylvania is something that you can help to maintain. Child abuse is more common than you might think, and this is partly because it can sometimes go on unreported for years. You can help to keep children in your community safe by being aware of what signs of child abuse to watch out for.

Psychological abuse

 Psychological abuse can be just as traumatic as physical abuse. The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance indicates that parents who abuse their children may constantly criticize the child. Such parents may throw objects around, make the child feel regularly ashamed and ignore any medical problems the child faces.

You can see some of the signs of psychological abuse in the child as well. A neglected or psychologically abused child may have regressive behavior patterns like thumb-sucking. He or she may appear emaciated, be constantly hungry or have medical needs that are unattended.

Physical abuse

 A physically abusive parent will often be verbally aggressive towards his or her child. He or she may also tell a story about a child’s injury that contradicts what the child says.

A physically abused child will sometimes cringe when an adult comes close for fear of being hit. He or she may overreact when a small accident like spilling a drink happens. Other signs you can look out for are unexplained burns, marks, cuts, bruises and a fear to go back home.

This article is meant to inform you to better be able to notice child abuse, and should not be taken as legal advice.