How to distinguish signs of sexual abuse in daycare-age children

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2022 | Day Cares, Preschools & Child Care

Parents expect their children to be safe when they entrust them to Florida daycare centers. Sadly, sometimes, this isn’t the case and children can experience sexual abuse. These are signs to look out for if your child has suffered.

Understanding child sexual abuse

Sexual abuse against a child can occur in a number of ways. While it might involve molestation through touching the genitals or actual rape, it can also happen through other means. Even a person watching pornographic material in the presence of a child or showing such images to a child constitutes sexual abuse. Taking explicit photos of a child is also an example of sexual abuse.

Signs of sexual abuse in daycare-age children

Children in daycare can range from babies to toddlers up to 3 years old. If your child is enrolled in a daycare center and experiences sexual abuse, they might have trouble communicating it to you. However, there are physical signs you can notice that might indicate your child has suffered such abuse.

One of the biggest telltale signs your child is being sexually abused at daycare is pain, bleeding, itching, swelling or bruising around or in their genital or anal areas. They may also exhibit difficulty sitting, walking or lying down because they have pain in the genital or anal area.

Daycare-age children who face sexual abuse often withdraw and don’t act like themselves. If your child is normally boisterous and joyful but has suddenly become quiet, sullen or fearful, you should take it as a red flag. They might suddenly become listless instead of playing like normal.

Children facing daycare sexual abuse sometimes also begin to exhibit sexual knowledge or curiosity when they have never expressed those behaviors before. You might want to ask some questions and investigate the situation so that you can get help.

Some children might not show any signs after facing sexual abuse. It’s crucial to watch your child closely.