Recognizing the Warning Signs of Daycare Abuse

For many parents, day care centers are an important part of their children’s day-to-day lives. We entrust these service providers to take care of something precious to us, so it’s important to ensure they are receiving the care they need from those providers.

Unfortunately, the news is full of reports regarding daycare abuse and lawsuits against companies for mistreating a child. Some of the most common types of child abuse reported at daycares include emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and overall neglect. Regardless of the type of abuse, a child’s life can be effected long term if not caught early and handled appropriately.

So how do you identify daycare child abuse? One method is to visit your child’s daycare facility unannounced regularly. This catches the caregivers off guard and provides an opportunity to witness your child’s care in an honest environment. Many facilities also offer video via the Internet. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for in your child’s actions, as they may indicate some type of neglect:

  1. Putting up a fight and crying when they’re going to daycare. Sometimes children will fake sickness to avoid someone they feel uncomfortable with.
  2. Appearing scared around daycare employees they regularly interact with.
  3. Extreme changes in behavior (i.e. mood swings), including aggression.
  4. New and regularly occurring nightmares.
  5. Becoming inappropriately interested in sexual activity.
  6. Reverting to previous infantile behavior, such as bed wetting or not going to the bathroom on time.
  7. Surprising cuts, bruises, or other injuries – especially when they don’t go away.

While these things may not be a sure sign of abuse or neglect, it is important to know the signs just in case. Honestly, the best protection for your child is your gut feeling. You’ve raised this child and know his or her personality better than anyone else. If you feel something is off, take action immediately to determine the issue. In the horrific event that daycare abuse is happening, legal action should of course be taken.