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Health Tip: Uncovering Child Abuse

What to look for and what to do next

(HealthDay News) -- Each year, thousands of children are physically abused in the United States, and many needlessly die as a result of abuse.

If you suspect a child is being abused -- physically, sexually, emotionally, or from neglect -- contact the child protective service agency or department of human services in your state, county or local area.

The American Medical Association lists these signs that indicate a child has possibly been or is being abused:

  • A poor self-image.
  • Acting out sexually.
  • Aggressive, disruptive, and sometimes illegal behavior.
  • Anger and rage, or feelings of sadness or other symptoms of depression.
  • Self-destructive or self-abusive behavior, suicidal thoughts.
  • Passive or withdrawn behavior.
  • Anxiety or fears, or flashbacks and nightmares.
  • School problems or failure.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse.
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