Silent Victims: Recognizing Signs of Abuse in Your Infant or Toddler
When new parents drop their baby off at daycare for the first time, the day is usually filled with tears and anxiety. For weeks or even months, you have been the sole provider of your child’s safety, food, and comfort. You may not have spent much time away from your baby, and to suddenly leave him in the hands of someone else can be very emotional.
As parents, we do our research and hope for the best when it comes to child care for our babies and toddlers, but it can be difficult to trust that everything is as sunny as it seemed during visits and tours. You cannot ask your baby how his day was, or if someone has treated him poorly. Babies and toddlers can truly be silent victims—but that does not mean that you must be kept in the dark.
The Telltale Signs
You know your baby better than anyone does, but even you are sometimes stymied when it comes to his moods. He may suddenly become fussy or inconsolable for no particular reason, and occasionally, a bump or bruise may occur during your watch—especially as he learns to walk or crawl.
So, how can you tell if the marks or bruises that you see on your baby after daycare are abuse, or just the result of a regular stumble or bump? Your baby may be displaying telltale signs of abuse if he:
- Develops a fear of other adults, especially the daycare workers
- Has come home with the same injury more than once
- Has been injured and the daycare workers are unable to explain how it happened
- Suddenly becomes exaggeratedly detached or attached to you
While babies cannot express what goes on at daycare, if your instincts are telling you that something is wrong, it is worth pursuing answers. If you have questions about what your next step should be, we would be happy to speak with you—start a live chat to get the answers you need now.