Child abuse at any age is a scary thought for parents. But when child abuse at preschool takes place, it’s extra chilling given the tender age of the kids and the fact that they cannot properly articulate what’s happening to them.
The nightmare of child abuse at preschool became a reality for one dad in Malaysia recently, according to a Straits Times report.
The father of a four-year-old girl got that very shocking call on Tuesday (October 31) from his daughter’s kindergarten principal in Sungai Jerlok, Kajang, Malaysia.
His daughter’s kindergarten teacher had allegedly slapped the student on both the sides of her face until she bled from the ears. She had to be rushed to Kajang Hospital for treatment where doctors confirmed soft tissue damage in her cheeks and ears.
The 19 year-old kindergarten teacher was arrested and has been remanded for three days.
Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Ahmad Dzaffir Mohd Yusoff said the principal alerted the father shortly after the incident.
“When the father went to the kindergarten, he found his daughter crying with bruises on her face, and blood coming out of her ears,” Dzaffir said when contacted on Friday (Nov 3).
“She is traumatised and is refusing to go back to the kindergarten,” he added.
Child abuse at preschool: Not too far from home
There were 873 cases of child abuse investigated by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) of Singapore in 2016, an increase from 551 cases in 2015. This isn’t the first reported child abuse case happening in a kindergarten overseas or in Singapore.
Sometimes, in the case of younger kids who may not be able to verbalise their abuse, parents should be vigilant in catching the signs of child abuse.
Here are some signs that you can look out for if you suspect child abuse at school (or home):
Your child cries and puts up a fight when it is time to go to daycare/kindergarten/around others caring for him.
Your child appears frightened around certain people that they were okay with before.
Your child shows sudden changes in behaviour at home (like shunning parents or becoming excessively clingy) or performance at school.
Your child comes home with unexplained bruises, abrasions, cuts, marks or other injuries. Repeated injuries could be a telltale sign that abuse is occurring.
- Your child starts getting frequent nightmares or has trouble sleeping.
What should you do if you suspect child abuse at school?
1. If you are still uncertain, call the school to speak to the principal about it.
2. If child abuse is confirmed, call the police (999) and relevant authorities like Singapore’s Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).
3. Immediately get your child away from the abuser.
4. Get in touch with a child protection specialist centre.
The Straits Times
Ministry of Social and Family Development
(Featured image is not of child who was abused)