Skip to content

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Child Abuse and Neglect - Symptoms

Symptoms of sexual abuse

A child with symptoms of recent sexual abuse may:

  • Not want to go to the bathroom.
  • Show signs of discomfort or pain while sitting, urinating, or passing stools.
  • Have discharge from the vagina or penis.
  • Bleed through his or her pants.

Certain ways of behaving may also point to sexual abuse. These include:

Sexual abuse versus normal sexual play

Sexual abuse is very different from normal sexual play between children who have not reached puberty.

Normal sexual play between children of similar ages is usually touching and looking. No force is used.

Sexual abuse includes any sexual activity that the child is not able to understand or consent to. Besides obvious sexual acts, examples include fondling and showing pornography to a child.

Symptoms of neglect

Child neglect means not providing a child with his or her basic needs. A child's general appearance, home environment, and behavior patterns can show signs of neglect.

A child who is neglected may:

  • Be very underweight or overweight.
  • Be developmentally delayed.
  • Be sick or tired most of the time.
  • Be dirty or have poor personal hygiene.
  • Not have the right clothes for the weather.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1|2
1|2
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow