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Common Indicators of Physical Abuse
Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the child:
- Unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes.
- Fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school.
- Frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home.
- Shrinks at the approach of adults.
- Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver.
Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver:
- Offers conflicting, unconvincing, or no explanation for the child's injury.
- Describes the child as "evil," or in some other very negative way.
- Uses harsh physical discipline with the child.
- Has a history of abuse as a child.
Author: National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (DHHS)
TTY Accessible: 1-800-624-6186