LullabySitters.com is educating its sitters and nannies about the signs of child abuse and their reporting requirements in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April. The organization sent an email to all of the caregivers registered on its site and posted a blog with reminders of what to look for.
Child Abuse Signs
The signs of abuse go beyond broken bones and bruises. LullabySitters.com warns sitters to watch for these other red flags:
- Children are always watchful and alert. It’s as if the child is always waiting for something bad to happen.
- A child shies away from touch or flinches at sudden movements. This can be a sign of physical abuse either at home or from another caregiver.
- Children wear inappropriate clothing to cover injuries. This can include long pants and long-sleeved shirts on hot days.
- Child is excessively withdrawn. A child who is fearful or anxious about doing something wrong may be experiencing emotional abuse. A child who is excessively compliant may also be experiencing abuse.
- Acts either inappropriately adult or infantile. Examples include taking care of other children or rocking, thumb-sucking, throwing tantrums.
- Shows extremes in behavior. The child is extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive.
LullabySitters.com reminds sitters that Indiana law requires the reporting of all suspected child abuse or neglect. It’s up to the authorities to investigate and determine if there is actually abuse or neglect happening.
“The Indiana Department of Child Services operates a 24/7 hotline,” said LullabySitters.com Owner Marie Maher. “Anonymous reports can be given by calling 1-800-800-5556. It’s important to calmly give the names of the parents or guardians, their contact information, names and ages of the children and what you observed or what the children told you.”