daycare school room

Recognizing the Signs of Daycare Child Abuse

No parent likes to think that their child is being subjected to abuse at daycare. That’s why it’s so important to know and watch for the signs of abuse. If you believe your child has been hurt while at daycare, you may be eligible for compensation that can cover medical expenses and other bills. A knowledgeable Chicago personal injury attorney can assist.

Children don’t always understand they’re being abused, especially young ones or those with special needs. Other children may be abused but are too afraid to say anything about it. Encouraging your child to be open, by reminding him or her that you’re there to keep them safe, could help prevent or end these and other types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect

Common Signs of Abuse

Here are a few common signs to watch out for across these different categories. It’s important to point out that some of these signs may be indicative of multiple types of abuse, so take action if you observe any of the following:

Physical abuse

  • Unexplained cuts, scratches, burns, bruises, black eyes, bites, broken bones, or other signs of physical trauma
  • Flinching at sudden movements
  • Appearing frightened in the presence of a caregiver
  • The child is afraid to go to daycare
  • Harsh discipline administered by a caregiver
  • Signs of shaken baby syndrome, which include glassy eyes, lethargy, frequent crying, seizures, and more

Emotional abuse

  • Extreme changes in the child’s mood
  • Constant irritability
  • Depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem
  • Social isolation
  • The child withdraws from activities he or she once enjoyed
  • Inappropriate behavior by the child showing emotional immaturity
  • Running away from home
  • Poor academic performance in school
  • Self-harm or self-neglect (the child doesn’t care about him- or herself)

Sexual abuse

  • Bruising, bleeding or swelling in the genital area
  • Difficulty sitting or walking
  • Torn or stained undergarments
  • Changes in mood or personality
  • Nightmares and bedwetting
  • Regressive behaviors, such as thumb-sucking in older children
  • Inappropriate knowledge about sex or sexual topics


  • The child is constantly hungry or thirsty at pickup
  • Soiled diapers and long-lasting diaper rashes
  • Not cleaning a child after an accident or anything else where the child gets dirty
  • Not attending to the child’s medical needs, including failure to administer medicine
  • Daycare staff purposely isolate the child
  • Depriving the child of attention or fair treatment as a form of punishment
  • Other forms of unusual punishment

Daycares are responsible for providing safe environments for children in which their basic needs are met. Abuse doesn’t always require that a caregiver do something, however. Sometimes the abuse happens because the daycare facility is unsanitary or unsafe. In other cases, a child is being harmed by another child at daycare, but no one is doing anything about it. Failure to observe safety and health rules and regulations, or to take action to prevent harm, could subject a child to injury or disease.

Children who are abused or neglected may need medical or psychological treatment to care for them. In extreme cases, a child may need extensive treatment for a long time after the abuse ends. Daycares can be held liable for these and other losses, and forced to provide monetary compensation.

Contact Hale & Monico Today

If you suspect that daycare abuse is happening, don’t delay taking action. It could save your child from additional injury. Call the compassionate personal injury lawyers of Hale & Monico to schedule your consultation today.