Every parent has heard the horror stories about daycare and childcare programs neglecting or abusing infants. It is a parent’s worst nightmare, sadly come true for some residents of Virginia. With more cases of daycare abuse lawsuits surfacing in Virginia throughout recent years, many parents have begun to question whether childcare is a safe option for their children and families.
As a parent, you may not be able to be with your child 24/7. You can, however, learn the signs of childcare abuse to better protect your child from tragedy. The sooner you can spot child abuse, the sooner your family can achieve justice against the perpetrator. Whenever you suspect your child is the victim of child care abuse, you should remove your child from the child care facility and contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can.
Common Signs of Child Care Abuse
It may be normal for a child to get a few bumps and bruises while playing at a childcare center, but more serious injuries should not occur with proper supervision. Certain injuries point to child abuse more often than others, including dislocations, broken bones, burns, rib fractures and concussions. If the daycare center cannot explain how your child got the injuries, investigate for potential childcare abuse. No child should suffer a serious or life-changing injury while at a daycare center.
If the care center’s explanation for the injury does not make sense, it is also a red flag for abuse. If your child is old enough, ask him or her what happened to see if the story lines up with the daycare center’s. Take your child to a doctor for a professional opinion. A physician may be able to tell you how the injury likely occurred. A dislocated shoulder, for example, could point to someone yanking on your child’s arm. If the daycare center says your child suffered the injury in a fall, this may not make sense and could be a sign of a coverup. If you’re having a hard time getting the daycare facility to cooperate, consider speaking with an attorney.
Your child coming home with bruises or abrasions once could point to rough child’s play, but repeated injuries may be a sign of a deeper issue. If you have had to take your child to the doctor more than once after coming home from a childcare center, consider potential child abuse or neglect. Repeated injuries of any kind are a warning sign for an abusive or dangerous childcare environment. Staff members may be abusing your child or failing to intervene with bullying.
Child Exhibits Extreme Mood Swings
Signs of childcare abuse are not always physical. Abuse can cause emotional and psychological trauma as well. If your child suddenly starts to act out, have extreme mood swings or become aggressive, it could be a sign of child abuse. Other personality or behavioral changes could also be bad signs, such as anxiety, fear, depression, guilt, shame, withdrawal or sudden shyness. Ask your child about his or her changes in mood to see if he or she is keeping a secret about abuse.
Inappropriate Knowledge of Sexual Subjects
Childcare abuse is not only physical; it can be sexual as well. If your child suddenly exhibits an inappropriate amount of knowledge of sexual topics, asks unusual questions about sex or sex organs, makes toys perform sexual acts, or draws pictures of a sexual nature, it could be a sign of sexual abuse. Other signs of sex abuse at childcare centers include genital injuries, bloody undergarments, bruises on the buttocks or upper thighs, behavioral changes, and fear of being around certain childcare center employees.
What to Do If You Suspect Abuse
Abusive, negligent and criminal childcare workers can cause immeasurable pain and suffering for a family. If you suspect childcare center abuse in Virginia, speak to an experienced Fairfax child injury attorney right away. A law firm near you can investigate the daycare center and take immediate legal action against the institution on your behalf.