Recognize Signs of Child Abuse
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and while most parents don't abuse their children, there are risk factors that lead some to do so. Learn to recognize those signs in your friends and family to prevent it. First, be sure to report your suspicions if there are obvious signs of abuse - hard spanking in public, bruises, a cautious or withdrawn child, or parents who are usually angry. Many parents who abuse don't establish a strong bond with their children when they are babies. A secure attachment in which the child is generally happy and confident, even when parents aren't around, is a sign that things are OK. Look at the parent's - or parents' if there are two - support system. Single parents who may not have many friends, family or other people on whom they can rely are more likely to abuse than those who have help. A social network helps ease the burden of parenting, provides support in times of need and models positive social interactions for children and gives children access to other supportive adults, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families.