Child abuse encompasses all types of mistreatment – physical, emotion, and sexual – that can be infected on a child, particularly by a parent, guardian, or other family member. Closely related is child neglect, in which the parent or guardian chooses not to provide for the nutritional, emotional, physical, or health need of a child.
The principal cause of child abuse is emotional inadequacy of the parent or guardian. Most parents who abuse their children were themeself abuse as children. they did not learn how to give or receive affection from their parents and thus find it hard to develop a good relationship with their own children. they often use the same harsh punishment methods – threats, ridicule, and physical violence – that were used on them as children, often because they do not know any other way of managing family problems. Some parents who neglect their children are incompetent because of drug or alcohol abuse, medical or psychological disorder, or overwhelming socioeconomic problems. Parents who do not have a support system of close friends or relatives living nearby may feel isolated and overwhelmed by the constant demands of raising children. Others who may abuse their children are young parents with their first child, parents of ill or premature babies who are separated from them shortly ofter birth, and parents who did not want a child in the first place. Such parents need special attention and support in order to get their families off to a good start.
Physical symptoms of abuse (also known as the battered child syndrome) include old and new bruises; scars from cuts and burns; serious damage to the eyes, mouth, or internal organs; and x-ray evidence of bone fractures in various stages of healing. when parents cannot give reasonable explanationsfor the child’s injuries, child abuse may be suspected. Signs of emotional abuse are more difficult to detect. Babies who have been neglected emotionally may appear uninterested in people or even retarded. Another sign in babies is the condition known as failure to thrive, which is unexplained lack of growth even though no illness is presented. Older children who are excessively well behave and overly anxious to please adults, but who do not get along well with other children and are mistrustful may be victims of emotional abuse. At school, they may have trouble with teachers as well as with other children. sexual abuse by a parent or other relative is often difficult to detect. They may be no physical symptoms, although venereal disease in child is grounds for suspicion. The child may be too fearful or too embarrassed to reveal the situation to anyone outside the family.
SourcE: Raising Healthy Child