By Jennifer Wilson
We spoke with Matthew Cox, M.D., a child abuse pediatrician at the Children's Medical Center's Referral Evaluation of At Risk Children (REACH) program in Dallas, Texas, a state with one the nation's highest abuse rates. He regularly conducts medical examinations on children to determine if their injuries are due to abuse, and works with local agencies to ensure kids' safety. This is his advice on how to prevent and report abuse, as well as how to help victims:
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Signs of Abuse
Above all else, if you suspect abuse, trust your instincts, says Dr. Cox. "Time after time we hear family members who say 'I was worried, but I didn't have any evidence,'" he says. "If you have a gut feeling, act on that concern."
Common indicators of child abuse include:
Bruises. Look for them in unusual locations such as cheeks, back, backside, or chest. Any bruise on an infant is worrisome.
Babies who fuss