The following are some of the signs which may indicate abuse. Generally there will be more than one indication that a child is being abused.

Physical Abuse

  • Bruising:

    • especially on the soft tissue area least likely to bruise when a child falls in play

    • looking like finger or handprint, or the mark of an implement such as stick or belt

    • bite marks

    • multiple bruising of different ages

    • inconsistent with a child's stage of development, eg where a child is immobile such as a baby, as they are unlikely to have any bruising.

  • Burns or scalds, especially marks which are recurrent with inadequate explanation or those which look like cigarette burns.

  • Fractures, especially where a child is immobile, eg a baby.

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