Signs that a Babysitter Might be Abusing Your Child

Published: 04th November 2010
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The thought of your child being harmed while you are away is every parents worst nightmare. While this is not something that happens to everyone, it does happen and should be considered if your child begins behaving differently. Luckily there are several signs a parent can look out for when they suspect their babysitter may be abusing their child.

Defensive Answers
It is normal for a parent to ask how the day or night went when they get home to relieve the babysitter. If the babysitter is defensive, or tries to avoid any of your questions however, this might be cause for concern. As a parent, you have the right to know what exactly went on while you were away, and a babysitter shying from being open could be a sign that something is going on.

Upset When You Leave
If your child does not usually show signs of separation anxiety, it may be a red flag if they begin having trouble with your departure. This is especially true if they become more upset when the babysitter is coming over to watch them. If your child starts to exhibit this behavior, ask them the reason for it and carefully gauge their reaction.

Injuries with Poor Explanations
Children accidentally hurt themselves a lot, but if this happens while you are away the babysitter should be able to explain exactly how and why it happened. Scrapes on the knees are one thing, but if you find bruises or cuts on your child and the babysitter gives a vague explanation, this is a huge red flag.

Shows SBS Symptoms
Child abuse comes in many forms, and one of the worst and least talked about is shaken baby syndrome. Unfortunately, it is not always immediately apparent when your child has been the victim of SBS, but there are symptoms to look for. These symptoms include but are not limited to vomiting, stiffness, blood in eyes, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and swelling. SBS is often fatal, and criminal action should be taken against any caregiver who attempts it on your child. To prevent this from ever happening make sure your babysitter knows the dangers of SBS.

Flinching
The act of flinching away when you raise your arms or hands is not normal behavior for a child. This may indicate that your child has been hit near the face or head, causing them to automatically flinch away when someone raises their hand. Ask your child why they flinched away, and take note if it happens again.

Conflicting Stories
If the sitter looks at your child while telling you about their day, he or she might be trying to warn your child not to disagree without them. If you have reason to believe your babysitter is lying, next time ask them something with the child out of the room, then ask your child same question later on. Also, if your child tells you something about their day that the babysitter did not tell you about and you feel they should have, dig deeper.

Arriving Early
A good babysitter should have no issue with you arriving early, where as one that acts scared or angry may be hiding something. If you do suspect something weird is going on with the sitter, take off work early the next day and see how they react.

Taking Action
If you do suspect you babysitter of abusing your child, remember to stay calm and act rationally. You should never handle the situation on your own, instead remove your child from the situation and call child services. Document any behavior you noticed while the child was in their care, with dates and times if possible. Take pictures of any injuries on your child if they are there. After this, let the officials take over and just take care of your child, getting them therapy or help if you believe it is necessary.

Scott Juceam is a business owner, consultant, creator, motivational speaker, and spiritual advisor. He has made thousands of friends around the nation establishing relationships to stop child abuse. To learn more about Scott Juceam check out ScottJuceam.com.

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