Child Abuse Indicators

Physical Neglect Physical Indicators:
Unattended medical needs, lack of supervision, regular signs of hunger, inappropriate dress, poor hygiene, distended stomach, emaciated, significant weight change.

Physical Neglect Behavioral Indicators: Regularly displays fatigue or listlessness, falls asleep in class, steals/hoards food, begs from classmates, reports that no caretaker is at home.

Physical Abuse Physical Indicators: Unexplained bruises (in various stages of healing), welts, loop marks, adult/human bite marks, bald spots or missing clumps of hair, unexplained burns/scalds, unexplained fractures, skin lacerations/punctures or abrasions, swollen lips/chipped teeth, linear/parallel marks on cheeks and temple area, crescent shaped bruising, puncture wounds, bruising behind the ears.

Physical Abuse Behavioral Indicators: Selfdestructive/selfmutilation, withdrawn and/or aggressive behavior extremes, uncomfortable/skittish with physical contact, arrives at school late or stays late as if afraid to be at home, chronic runaway (adolescents), complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably, wears clothing inappropriate to weather, to cover body, lack of impulse control (e.g. inappropriate outbursts).

Sexual Abuse Physical indicators: Pain or itching in genital area, bruises or bleeding in genital area, sexually transmitted disease, frequent urinary or yeast infections, extreme or sudden weight change, pregnancy under 12 years of age.

Sexual Abuse Behavioral Indicators: Withdrawal, chronic depression, sexual behaviors or references that are unusual for the child’s age, seductive or promiscuous behavior, poor selfesteem, self devaluation, lack of confidence, suicide attempts (especially adolescents), hysteria, lack of emotional control.

Who do I call to report suspected child abuse?
Cases of abuse or neglect should be reported to local law enforcement or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Anyone, including a child, who suspects child abuse or neglect, can make a report to MDHHS by calling 855-444-3911.