The four types of child abuse recognised within child protection are Physical, Emotional, Neglect and Sexual.
PHYSICAL ABUSE may involve hitting, shaking, kicking, throwing, poisoning burning or scalding, drowning and in general any type of abuse that cause physical harm or injury to a child.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause sever and persistent adverse effects on the childs emotional development. It may involve conveying to the child that they are worthless or unloved and generally making the child feel scared and in danger. This type of abuse often occurs when a child is also suffering from other forms of abuse ...view middle of the document...
Another form of abuse wherever there is violence in the home, careful consideration should be taken due to the risks this can have on the child, and there is particularly high risk where the violence is combined with parental mental heath issues or learning disabilities and substance abuse. If a child lives in home where this takes place there is more chance that the child would be subjected to abuse themselves. The child will also be affected even if they do not physically see forms of violence but if they hear what’s happening, or see the result of an injury on a family member, this too will have an impact on their welfare.
The signs of child abuse aren't always obvious, and a child might not tell anyone what's happening to them, but they will show signs of physical harm along with changes in their behaviour.
Children might be scared that the abuser will find out, and worried that the abuse will get worse. Or they might think that there’s no-one they can tell or that they won’t be believed. Sometimes, children don't even realise that what's happening is abuse. They may suddenly show behavioural changes such as attachment issues, and become clingy with their parent/carer. Along with detaching themselves from their peers, or becoming aggressive towards their friends or parents, this may be an area for concern.
Where a child is being neglected we should look for signs of poor hygiene such is the child coming into nursery with dirty unwashed clothes and hair. It may be that the child is not being fed properly and may come into a setting feeling hungry and tired, and this may result in them taking food from others. Also by not seeking medical advice when necessary, they jeopardise their health and wellbeing, particularly if the child is in pain. This can also be shown by dental neglect – with rotten or grossly discoloured teeth with noticeable odour and a child who is unable to eat normally due to pain in their mouth.
Another indicator which is an obvious result of physical abuse would be a child that has unusual injuries, such as broken bones or fractures, burns or scalds where they have clearly defined borders and could be burns to the trunk or lower limbs which are often situated on the back of hands, soles of feet, the back and other usually protected areas, such as inner arms. Or they could be in the shape of an implement for example a cigarette lighter, iron or the tip of a cigarette. And although these instances are cause for concern this is not exhaustive of the types of physical abuse a child could be suffering.
If a child is being sexually abused you may find the child uses inappropriate sexual language for their age or their play may involve acts of a sexual nature indicating they may have observed sexual acts be it in the home or on the television. The child may be anxious to take their clothes off should they have an accident at nursery and may show signs of bruising or bleeding in the genital...