Day Care Abuse Lawyer

Many people leave their kids at a daycare while they work outside the home.  These parents trust the child care providers and that their kids are safe.  Unfortunately there are many cases of abuse in daycare centers. There are some signs to look for that might mean your child is being abused, hurt, or neglected while with the daycare provider.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says parents should be alert to these indicators of abuse:

  • Changes in behavior or extreme mood swings.
  • Changes in bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of going to bed, or other sleep disturbances.
  • Acting out inappropriate sexual activity or showing an unusual interest in sexual matters.
  • Sudden acting out of feelings, or aggressive or rebellious behavior.
  • Regression to infantile behavior or clinging.
  • School problems, behavior problems.
  • Changes in toilet-training habits.
  • Fear of certain places, people, or activities; an excessive fear of going to the daycare center.

Choosing a responsible daycare provider is important.  Many daycare centers conduct background checks on potential employees to see if they have criminal records.  Screening also can turn up substance abuse or a history of emotional instability.  As a parent you should ask the center director how it screens prospective daycare providers. Some abuse cases have involved relatives, such as the fathers or sons of providers; especially in at home daycares.

Physical Signs of Child Abuse

  • Abrasions, bruises, lacerations, welts
  • Burns, scalds
  • Reddening of surface tissue lasting more than 24 hours
  • Neglect (denial of critical care)
  • Underweight appearance, poor growth pattern, e.g., small in stature, failure to thrive
  • Consistent hunger, poor hygiene, inappropriate dress
  • Consistent lack of supervision, especially in dangerous activities or for long periods
  • Unattended physical problems or medical needs
  • Abandonment
  • Abdominal distention
  • Bald patches on the scalp

Sexual Abuse

  • Difficulty in walking or sitting
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Pain, swelling, or itching in genital area
  • Pain on urination
  • Bruises, bleeding, or lacerations in external genitalia, vaginal, or anal areas
  • Vaginal/penile discharge

Behavioral Changes

Children who have been abused sometimes show changes in their attitudes or behaviors.  However, changes in behavior can be caused by other factors. It is important to understand the basis for changes.  Be observant and try to determine the cause.  The following are possible signs:

Physical Abuse

  • Wariness of adult contact
  • Behavioral extremes – aggressiveness or withdrawal
  • Inappropriate or precocious maturity
  • Vacant or frozen stare
  • Poor self-concept
  • Apprehension when other children cry
  • Indiscriminate seeking of affection

Neglect (denial of critical care)

  • Fatigue or listlessness
  • Whispering speech
  • Expressionless face

Sexual Abuse

  • Frequent touching or fondling of genitals or masturbation
  • Inappropriate sexual expression with trusted adults
  • Fear of separation
  • Excessive bathing
  • Reenactment of abuse using dolls, drawings, or friends
  • Avoidance of certain staff, relatives, or friends
  • Neglected appearance

If your child reveals something to you that makes you suspect he’s been abused either physically or sexually, try not to overreact in front of him.  Just let him know that you’re glad he’s told you about it.  Talk with other parents whose children are in the same daycare to compare behaviors and observations.  If you still think your child has been abused at daycare, contact the local child protective services agency, the department of human services for the state, city, or county or a local law enforcement officer.  Contact a daycare abuse attorney to make sure you and your child’s rights are protected.  The licensed attorneys at The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander can evaluate whether you have a case that is worth pursuing.  It is important to contact our office as soon as possible as there may be time limits (Statute of Limitations) which impact on your ability to sue.  Call our office today at 312-425-9100.