top of page

Printable Pdf

Signs for Child Neglect

Often, it’s a teacher or a concerned neighbor who may recognize warning signs that a child is neglected. An underweight child who only rarely attends school or a young child who plays outside at all hours of the day without an adult in sight may raise red flags.


There are a number of signs that could indicate the possibility that a child is being neglected, including:

  • Frequent absences from school

  • Lacks sufficient clothing or is inappropriately dressed for the weather

  • Steals or begs for food or money

  • Is consistently dirty or has severe body odor

  • Abuses alcohol or drugs

  • Lacks needed medical or dental care, glasses, or immunizations

  • States that no one is home to provide care


Signs that a parent or caregiver may not be caring for a child adequately include:

  • Irrational or bizarre behavior

  • Seems apathetic or depressed

  • Appears to be indifferent toward a child

  • Abuses drugs or alcohol

 Signs of Sexually Abused

  • When your child tells you he or she has been touched inappropriately or sexually.

  • If your child is behaving sexually inappropriately around others (this includes touching others inappropriately).

  • If your child uses sexually inappropriate language.

  • If your child’s knowledge of sex seems to be more than it should be at his or her age.

  • If your child seems withdrawn and doesn’t want to be hugged by some or all of his or her family members, family friend, teacher, or a particular person.

  • If your child is suffering from depression or anxiety.

  • If your child has harmed him- or herself.

  • If your child is making comments about his or her low self worth.

  • Blood in a young child’s underwear.

  • When a young child is complaining of pain in their genital area.

  • Injuries in your child’s genital area, such as bruising, bleeding, or swelling. The injuries might cause your child pain when walking or sitting.

  • Signs of infection in your child’s urinary or genital area. This would include frequent burning, itching, or a sexually transmitted infection.

  • A pregnancy.

  • Academic changes (falling grades, missing assignments, repeated absences).

  • Regression in young children, such as wetting the bed or thumb sucking.

  • If your child is acting overly concerned for a sibling.

  • Changes in hygiene, such as refusing to take a bath (in younger children). Older children may shower more (to cleanse themselves of what they perceive as shame and embarrassment).

  • Suddenly receiving gifts or money from a person in authority (a teacher, coach, etc.).


If you know your child has been sexually abused, report it to the police. Take your child to the doctor for an exam. Ask your child’s doctor for the name of a counselor or psychologist. Talk to your local police about tracking sex offenders in your neighborhood or city.


            1-800-800-5556 Indiana

            1-877-597-2331 Kentucky                    

                  Abuse Hotline


If you call to make a report, an intake specialist will ask for information about the circumstances creating a risk of harm to the child including:

  • who was involved

  • what occurred

  • when and where it occurred

  • the extent of any injuries sustained

  • any other relevant information


You may be asked for detailed information including names, addresses and phone numbers for the child, parent or alleged perpetrator. Even if you are unable to provide all the information, please contact the hotline to make a report if you suspect a child is a victim of abuse or neglect.

Name of Victim ______________________________________



    What Happen ______________________________________



Time and Place _______________________________________



Visible location of Injuries _______________________________




Please be specific as possible. Describe the signs and in detail that makes you feel this person is being abused ._________________________________________________________







bottom of page