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Saving Face: Protecting Kids From Dangerous Surroundings

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

As parents or potential parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, educators, religious leaders, etc, we have a variety of concerns when it comes to our children or the children of friends and loved ones.

We worry about their health, their behavior, their development, and their future. And, one of the issues that has become of greater concern recently has been the environment our children or children we know are raised in, primarily the quality and caliber of the parents and how they treat their children, making abuse a major issue and concern.

Yet, many of us are reluctant to stick our nose into someone else’s business and/or parenting practices, are ambivalent about speaking up and often don’t know exactly what to look for in order to accurately identify a potential problem.

Experts however assert that it’s imperative that we keep our eyes, ears, and mouths open. And they offer the following as warning signs to be aware of.

· Go with your gut instinct and suspicions (at least follow up on it).

· Take note and be aware of unexplained and frequent injuries, bruises and suspicious markings.

· Take note of changes in behavior, especially uncharacteristic, unexplainable, and dramatic changes.

· Take note of ambivalence or fear of contacting parents and/or of going home.

· Notice a child’s inappropriate gestures or expressing uncharacteristic knowledge of sexual innuendos or sexual behaviors.

· Take not of unexplained changes in weight, especially weight loss and signs that the child is not getting proper nutrition or enough to eat.

· Take note of an interest in friends and activities, and in scholastic attendance.

· Take note of a child’s behavior, especially inappropriate, negative behavior such as steeling, or begging for food from fellow classmates or members of the community.

· Make note of a child’s decline in or lack of personal care, hygiene and/or appearance.

· Note a significant and unexplained decline in (overall) academic attentiveness and performance.

Long Island Safety Articles > Saving Face: Protecting Kids From Dangerous Surroundings

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