Learn the 10 Signs of Child Abuse

The last day of April means it is also the last day of National Child Abuse and Prevention Month.

If you haven’t already, please learn about the 10 signs of child abuse.

Remember: The average child tells seven adults they are being abused before a report is formally made. Moreover, up to 70% of child abuse cases go unreported, putting countless innocent children at risk.

Learn the 10 signs of child abuse here👇

1) Unexplained Injuries: Visible signs of physical abuse, such as bruises, cuts, or burns, particularly if they appear frequently or in patterns.

2) Changes in Behavior: Sudden shifts in mood or demeanor, including increased aggression, withdrawal, or anxiety.

3) Returning to Earlier Behaviors: Reverting to behaviors typical of younger children, like bedwetting or thumb-sucking, as a coping mechanism.

4) Fear of Going Home: Reluctance or fear of returning home, which may indicate an unsafe environment.

5) Changes in Eating: Dramatic weight fluctuations, binge eating, or hoarding food can signal emotional distress or neglect.

6) Changes in Sleeping: Persistent nightmares, insomnia, or excessive sleeping may be signs of trauma.

7) Changes in School Performance and Attendance: A sudden decline in academic performance or frequent absences could indicate a troubled home life.

8) Lack of Personal Care and Hygiene: Consistently appearing dirty or unkempt, wearing ill-fitting or inappropriate clothing, or displaying poor hygiene.

9) Risk-Taking Behaviors: Engaging in dangerous activities, self-harm, or substance abuse as a means to cope with or escape from abuse.

10) Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors: Displaying knowledge or interest in sexual activities beyond their age or engaging in sexually explicit behaviors.

If you suspect a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to call 911 or the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873).

In non-emergency situations, you can report suspected child abuse or neglect using the Online Reporting System at https://dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov/