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bruises=abuse

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
My dd always has bruises on her legs, and so do I. I feel really embarassed and nervous when we go to swimming lessons or gym class, thinking people are going to think we abuse her. Most of the time, I have no idea where they come from, she doesn't fall or get hurt often. Do doctors and everyone else get suspicious at the sight of a bruise or do most people just think they're a part of childhood? Does anyone elses kids bruise easily?
post #2 of 34
from talking with folks who've worked with abused children, it's not the presence of bruises but the location of bruises that is the concern. Bruises on shins, forearms, etc are considered to be pretty normal for most kids. But bruises on the inner thighs, the back, etc are more suspicious since it's harder to get bruises there in a regular fall...at least that is what they told me. Maybe there are some folks here who can answer your question who are mandated reporters...they would know better what to look for.

My DD tends to bruise easily if her iron is low...usually if I start noticing bruises on my DD, I just make sure she gets some meat in her....

HTH
peace,
robyn
post #3 of 34
Paranoid me actually took my 4 yo to the MD last summer to see if the bruises were "more" than normal (thinking illness, not abuse), since I felt he had a lot more than usual without a lot more activity. The MD said, "Geez, these are great, you should see my son's legs." So, no, I don't think they automatically think abuse. Yes, I think location, size and pattern are important too.
post #4 of 34
When I took my DS at around 18mos to our ped for bruises on his legs, I pretty much got the same answer as almama.
Our ped told us that he wasn't worried at all and that he'd actually be worried if there weren't any bruises on our son because that might mean we aren't letting him do anything at all! :P
post #5 of 34
My son has lots of bruises on his shins at any given time. I was paranoid before our last visit to the doc because of just how bad they looked.
post #6 of 34
I have a friend who's a pediatrician. She says she sometimes sees notes on toddler's charts that say "bruises appropriate for development." I have also heard stories of pediatricians walking into the exam room, looking at a kid with bruises and saying things like "I see we're crawling!"

Anyway, no, I don't automatically think "abuse" when I see a kid with bruises. I especially don't think "abuse" when the kid with the bruises appears basically unstressed and responds normally to parents and other caregivers.

My son has had a series of bruises above his left eye, from conking himself on the bookshelf, the doorframe, and the coffee table. I have a stack of daycare injury reports, all of which begin "Child tried to stand..." and continue on to some euphemism for "it didn't work out." This is normal kid stuff.
post #7 of 34
Both my kids get banged up shins. I remember when I took dd to her check up when she was two, her doctor looked at her and said "I see she has some normal childhood bruises. She must be exploring." and that was that. I think most people know the difference between 'normal' bruising and abuse looking bruises. Kids get banged up just playing. It's part of how they learn.

HTH
post #8 of 34
We used to refer to my son as "head wound Harry" because he constantly had a bump, black eye, scrape, bruise. He led with his head what can I say. (I worked as a teacher in a hospital where a lot/most/all the kids were abused )No.."normal" bruises really don't raise any alarms. It's those injuries in the odd places..or those that look like finger marks, shoe prints, burn patterns.
post #9 of 34
My oldest son bruises really easily, so do I. We constantly have bruises and no idea where they came from. His ped has checked out his bruises before but never said anything. I always worry too though.
post #10 of 34
i have always been told the same thing about location, as far as illness or abuse goes. i don't worry about dd's mottled shins, but i might be concerned if she was suddenly bruised under her arms...
post #11 of 34
Both my kids are rather adventurous and bruise easily. Their shins are always covered in bruises. I finally stopped worrying about it. DD2 hits her head more than any kid I know though. For a while, she had one bump after another on her head or face ranging from a black eye to a bruised cheek to a goose egg on the middle of her forehead! Her daycare teacher asked what happened of course, but I don't think her mind went to abuse.
post #12 of 34
my 2 1/2 yr old DD has bruises ALL the time, and always has atleast one on her upper arms, generally from her attempting to plummet off of some high surface she doesn't belong on and me grasping her at the last second (she's been known to throw herself into the air from alarming heights just because she sees us coming and assumes we will somehow "catch" her) My dd has absolutely zero fear and to add to the hazard, she has an older brother who thinks way too highly of her giggles and not highly enough of her safety (i.e. they're always getting rough because she thinks its fun and he doesnt think about the danger of it)

My mom made it sound like we were abusing her or rather "being too rough" when she came and watched them for us recently (she only sees them a couple of times a year) and I was appauled at it and now I'm all paranoid. I try very very hard not to grab DD by her arms if I can help it and I DEFINITELY do not believe in any kind of physical punishment, but between balancing a 6 month old on my hip (aka not as on top of her as I could be if I only had her to engage), her not responding to verbal redirection with any consistancy, and her desire to defy gravity, its become a dilema.
post #13 of 34
Both of my kids are bruised a lot -- because they are very active and very adventerous. On DS it doesn't show so much because he has my darker skin. But DD is very fair and so bruises show a lot. Luckily, anyone who sees her regularly (like teachers, doctors) also see her jumping off the play structure, playing tag through the playhouse, or, for doctor, jumping off the exam table. Its pretty obvious to anyone where the bruises come from!

On a related, sort-of funny note... When I was pregnant I had a catering business. I was also burning myself, bruising myself, or otherwise injuring myself. DH cringed every time I went for a prenatal visit because the nurses would ask "Are you safe at home?" based on whatever the injury de jour was. Poor guy always felt like the women of the office were looking at him sideways.
post #14 of 34
I too had this concern, along with the worry that something was dreadfully wrong with my (then) 3 yr old's health. She had new bruises almost daily, all over her body.

When I took my newborn in for her first checkup, the Ped asked if I had any concerns with J (the 3 year old). I told him about her bruising, and my worries. He called her in (she was in the play room). She came barreling down the hall, slammed into the door jamb, bounced off that & hit the open door, fell face first onto the floor, jumped up & with a smile said "What?" The poor dr was doing everything he could to keep from laughing. He basically said "I think we've figured out the problem" FTR he did check her over for spine, hip problems but pretty much she was just a 'go-getter' who never slowed for anything.
post #15 of 34
My dr says bruises on the legs(up & down) are signs of a healthy child who's running around. He said lack of bruises there would concern him.
post #16 of 34
I'm a teacher and thus a mandated reporter, and the only time I've suspected bruises based on a story is when they've been in the shape of an adult's hands, or when they're not randomly placed but look as if a child has been hit with something repeatedly. Even then, if the adult or child has a logical story I don't jump to the conclusion. For example I had a child take off his shirt at school one day and he had marks on his arms like someone had grabbed him hard. When dad picked him up he told me the child had started to slip in the shower and dad had grabbed him -- in his fear he grabbed too hard. That's clearly not abuse in my mind. On the other hand we had another child (nonverbal autistic child) come in with similar bruises (mom brought him to school and showed them to me), but no explanation. We called CPS who felt that abuse had probably happened but the child had been with so many people that day (speech, OT, one on one aides at school and daycare, teachers at school and daycare, mom, step dad, bus drivers, bus aides) that they couldn't determine who. Parents felt it was likely the bus aide and demanded a change in buses, which they got, but no charges were brought.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenlaana View Post
my 2 1/2 yr old DD has bruises ALL the time, and always has atleast one on her upper arms, generally from her attempting to plummet off of some high surface she doesn't belong on and me grasping her at the last second (she's been known to throw herself into the air from alarming heights just because she sees us coming and assumes we will somehow "catch" her) My dd has absolutely zero fear and to add to the hazard, she has an older brother who thinks way too highly of her giggles and not highly enough of her safety (i.e. they're always getting rough because she thinks its fun and he doesnt think about the danger of it)

My mom made it sound like we were abusing her or rather "being too rough" when she came and watched them for us recently (she only sees them a couple of times a year) and I was appauled at it and now I'm all paranoid. I try very very hard not to grab DD by her arms if I can help it and I DEFINITELY do not believe in any kind of physical punishment, but between balancing a 6 month old on my hip (aka not as on top of her as I could be if I only had her to engage), her not responding to verbal redirection with any consistancy, and her desire to defy gravity, its become a dilema.
If your mom saw your daughter's behavior in your son, would she have the same thoughts? I'd bet a lot that she would just feel it's "boys being boys". That's how my friends with only dainty girls feel, when they see their friends with boys. A friend's husband wouldn't let some boys come over because they were too rough, but his version of rough was so far beyond rough...he was just used to his little bitty girl drawing at her table all day rather than running around.

So I wonder if your mom has the same thoughts.


My guy constantly has bruises, silly kid.


Here's something that will get a phone call home (back in the 70s, at least...nowadays it might be a phone call elsewhere). 1st grader comes in with a big ol' shiner. Teacher asks her how it happeend. Little girl says "My mama did it!" The night before I was following my mom way too close, and she stopped and turned around, and her elbow slammed into my eye. Ouch! Thankfully the teacher called my mom and believed her.
post #18 of 34
Got another bruiser here as well. They started at 9 months when DS started crawling--surprise, surprise. I remember feeling exactly as you do now, OP. I remember it we had just moved to a new town and I was taking DS for his first check up with our new doctor and I was really worried about what they might think.

DS always has bruises. He's busy, active and loves to climb, jump and wrestle about. He also inherited my skin tone (fair) and bruises easily as opposed to DH who is olive toned and virtually NEVER bruises--stinker.

No worries.

The best,
Em
post #19 of 34
My DD is a big bruise girl as well. She currently has two on either side of her forehead right at the hairline--one from crashing into her buddy while dancing at day care, and one from careening through the bathroom and clonking her head on the edge of the sink. DH said "Hmm, maybe it's where the horns are coming through." (Yep, we're in the terrible twos.)

She also frequently has bruised knees and shins, since she (like a PP mentioned) has very little fear and loves to climb, jump, and bounce off things. At least once a week (she's in day care 3 days) we get a "boo-boo report"--they have to call you if the child gets a "boo-boo" above the shoulder even if they're instantly fine. I do sometimes get a little paranoid that people are going to think I'm pounding on her, but as others have said, there are locations, patterns, and types of bruises that are associated with abuse--and then bruises that are associated with being an active kid.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
I'm a teacher and thus a mandated reporter, and the only time I've suspected bruises based on a story is when they've been in the shape of an adult's hands, or when they're not randomly placed but look as if a child has been hit with something repeatedly. Even then, if the adult or child has a logical story I don't jump to the conclusion. For example I had a child take off his shirt at school one day and he had marks on his arms like someone had grabbed him hard. When dad picked him up he told me the child had started to slip in the shower and dad had grabbed him -- in his fear he grabbed too hard. That's clearly not abuse in my mind. On the other hand we had another child (nonverbal autistic child) come in with similar bruises (mom brought him to school and showed them to me), but no explanation. We called CPS who felt that abuse had probably happened but the child had been with so many people that day (speech, OT, one on one aides at school and daycare, teachers at school and daycare, mom, step dad, bus drivers, bus aides) that they couldn't determine who. Parents felt it was likely the bus aide and demanded a change in buses, which they got, but no charges were brought.

Well, thank goodness they didn't automatically blame the parents.
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