Selection of child care is an important task for Kansas
parents. The series Choosing Care for Your Children is
designed to help you be a better-informed consumer.
While the vast majority of child care is provided by
warm, capable individuals intent on providing a safe,
secure, and healthy place for children there are occasional
incidents of child abuse and neglect in child care facilities.
Parents and caregivers may also discover that a child has
been abused by a spouse, friend, stranger or another
caregiver and is in need of special services. What can you
do as a parent to protect your child?
Listen to your child
When a young child spontaneously makes comments
or asks questions relating to possible abuse, it is
important to listen to what the child is saying. Often such
statements are made by the child in a comfortable setting
and usually to parents or other close adults or children. If
the adult shows shock, horror, or disbelief, the child may
withhold the information and keep it secret for a long time.
On the other hand, parents and professionals sometimes
tend to simply dismiss such reports made by a child who
tries with a limited vocabulary to tell about an experience
he or she does not fully understand. Generally, it should
be assumed that children, especially preschoolers, do not
make up stories in this area.
Know the types of child abuse
Physical abuse — Any nonaccidental injury which is
inconsistent with the explanation given for it, suffered by
a child as the result of an act by the person responsible
for the care of the child. Physical abuse often occurs in
the name of discipline or punishment, and ranges from a
slap resulting in reddening of surface tissue lasting more
than 24 hours to use of objects such as straps, belts,
kitchen utensils, electrical cords, sticks etc.
Denial of critical care (neglect) — The failure on
the part of a person responsible for the care of a child to
provide for the adequate food, shelter, clothing, emotional