National Child Abuse Prevention Month

DuPage County, IL – In recognition of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, State Representative Jennifer Sanalitro (R-Hanover Park) is urging the community to familiarize themselves with the signs of child abuse and neglect. The month is dedicated to raising awareness about the serious issues of severe neglect, as well as sexual, physical, and emotional maltreatment, all of which are forms of child abuse.

“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime and it breaks my heart anytime I hear the details of a child abuse crime,” said Sanalitro.

Rep. Sanalitro also emphasizes the importance of providing a safe environment for all children: “I encourage everyone to learn the signs of Child Abuse and provide a reminder that if you see something, say something” she stated.

To effectively combat child abuse, it’s crucial to recognize the warning signs. Here are 10 red flags that may indicate a child is suffering from abuse:

  1. Unexplained Injuries: Visible signs of physical abuse, such as bruises, cuts, or burns, particularly if they appear frequently or in patterns.
  2. Changes in Behavior: Sudden shifts in mood or demeanor, including increased aggression, withdrawal, or anxiety.
  3. Returning to Earlier Behaviors: Reverting to behaviors typical of younger children, like bedwetting or thumb-sucking, as a coping mechanism.
  4. Fear of Going Home: Reluctance or fear of returning home, which may indicate an unsafe environment.
  5. Changes in Eating: Dramatic weight fluctuations, binge eating, or hoarding food can signal emotional distress or neglect.
  6. Changes in Sleeping: Persistent nightmares, insomnia, or excessive sleeping may be signs of trauma.
  7. Changes in School Performance and Attendance: A sudden decline in academic performance or frequent absences could indicate a troubled home life.
  8. Lack of Personal Care and Hygiene: Consistently appearing dirty or unkempt, wearing ill-fitting or inappropriate clothing, or displaying poor hygiene.
  9. Risk-Taking Behaviors: Engaging in dangerous activities, self-harm, or substance abuse as a means to cope with or escape from abuse.
  10. Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors: Displaying knowledge or interest in sexual activities beyond their age or engaging in sexually explicit behaviors.

If you suspect a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to call 911 or the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). In non-emergency situations, you can report suspected child abuse or neglect using the Online Reporting System at

For more information, please contact State Representative Jennifer Sanalitro’s district office at 630-349-0645.

State Representative Jennifer Sanalitro is the State Representative for House District 48, which includes the communities of Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Elk Grove, Hanover Park, Itasca, Medinah, Roselle, Schaumburg, and Wood Dale in suburban DuPage and Cook counties.