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Warning Signs

Transforming lives, one child at a time.

The following indicators, as listed by category, may pertain to more than one form of abuse or neglect.
According to Childhelp USA, the most common signs and symptoms are:

Physical Abuse

  • Unexplained burns, cuts, bruises, or welts in the shape of an object
  • Bite marks
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Problems in school
  • Fear of adults

Emotional Abuse

  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Hostility or stress
  • Lack of concentration
  • Eating disorders

Sexual Abuse

  • Inappropriate interest or knowledge of sexual acts
  • Nightmares and bed wetting
  • Drastic changes in appetite
  • Overcompliance or excessive aggression
  • Fear of a particular person or family member


  • Unsuitable clothing for weather
  • Dirty or unbathed
  • Extreme hunger
  • Apparent lack of supervision

How to report child abuse

Call the Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-252-5400. Be specific about your observations; tell exactly what happened and when. Record all injuries or incidents, including dates and time of day, and keep this information secured.
Your report is confidential and is not subject to public release under the Open Records Act. Your identity is kept confidential. If you have reason to suspect child abuse or neglect, but are not certain, please contact the hotline for more information. (Information on reporting abuse was provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.)