Abuse is any action that creates a substantial injury or a risk of injury to a child. Abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. Physical abuse happens when a child is hurt through beating, shaking, kicking, burning or other types of bodily harm. A child can end up suffering from bruises, fractured or broken bones, internal injuries or even death. When children are denied the basic necessities they need to thrive, it is also considered physical abuse as well. Infants born addicted to drugs are physically abused, too.
Physical abuse can harm a child long after his or her injuries have healed. The emotional scars may never heal. It has been estimated that one million children are abused in the United States every year. A small but significant percentage of those children die from their injuries.
Physical abuse is an injury purposely inflicted upon a child. Injuries may be caused by shaking, punching, kicking, scratching, and more. Unexplained injuries in questionable places, multiple fractures, and numerous bruises in various stages of healing are all red flags that a child may be being abused.