If you suspect child abuse, you must report it by law. You can remain anonymous.
Don’t think your baby can be a victim of abuse? Think again. Kentucky and Indiana have some of the highest rates of child physical abuse and neglect in the country – more than 40,000 kids a year. The catastrophic effects of child abuse are felt by families of all races, backgrounds and economic statuses. Almost every week, there is at least one child who has been injured so severely from abuse that he or she requires intensive care in the hospital’s “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center.
No one wakes up thinking they will abuse a child that day. Caregivers who may not understand child development may have inappropriate expectations of a child in their care and can become frustrated more easily when the child cannot live up to those expectations, especially if the child is younger than age 4. For example, most children are unable to stop crying on demand before age 4 or 5.
We all can do our part to keep kids safe and put an end to abuse, which is 100% preventable, by staying in control, being smart in choosing a child’s caregiver, knowing how to get support and identifying the signs before it’s too late. Here are some ways you can help:
Raising children is hard and sometimes frustrating. In order to deal with the difficult times safely and successfully, have a “plan of action” and share it with everyone who may care for your child in your absence. A plan of action can include:
The TEN-4 bruising rule is a way for anyone to remember how to spot signs of abuse that need to be evaluated immediately. Just remember:
Examples of suspicious bruises can include:
Other warning signs can be detected from a caregiver’s behavior, such as:
If you suspect child abuse, you must report it by law. In Kentucky, call (877) KYSAFE1 (597-2331). In Indiana, call (800) 800-5556. You can remain anonymous.