LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – With five days left in the month of April, labeled as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, there is still plenty of time to spread awareness on the subject.
UK HealthCare did its part in spreading awareness by releasing a statement regarding what you should do if you suspect a child is a victim of abuse.
Health officials pointed out that kids are naturally busy beings, and cuts, scrapes, and bruises are normal wear and tear. However, there are certain injuries that can indicate abuse.
According to UK HealthCare, the best way to recognize child abuse is by remembering the “TEN-4 rule“. This rule states that you should look for bruising on the Torso, Ears, and Neck in children ages four and under. If you see bruises that meet this criterion, they should be reported.
The Kentucky Coalition of Domestic Violence labels every Kentuckian as a mandated reporter of child abuse. The organization stated in their resource FAQ that, “any person who has reason to believe a child is dependent, neglected, or abused must report this to the Cabinet, the state or local police, or the local prosecutor’s office.”
If you suspect a child is being abused, UK HealthCare said you should:
- Stay calm and act normal if you do notice bruising on a child.
- Document what you see and hear in the situation, and record the color, shape, size, and location of the bruising.
- Refrain from jumping to conclusions or asking specific questions.
- Document what the child and/or parent says as well as any questions you do ask. You may ask non-leading questions such as “What happened?” or “Where were you when it happened?”.
- Make an official report by contacting Child Protective Services by calling 1-877-KYSAFE1 or 1-877-597-2331.