It’s Christmas time and for kids it is a wonderful time of the year, but not for all kids.

The Advocacy Network For Kids reminds us kids are kids, and sometimes they play in ways that result in minor cuts and bruises on bony areas of the body, like knees and foreheads. However, there are areas of the body where any signs of bruising should be red flags for possible abuse, especially for children 4 years old and younger.

If you suspect that a child is undergoing abuse, it’s critical to report it—and to continue reporting each separate incidence if it continues to recur. With each case of reporting, you will make it helpful in learning what is going on in the family. The more information you can pro-vide, the better the chance of the child getting the help they need and deserve.

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If you think a child is being abused, call the DCFS hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE (252-2873). In non-emergency situations, you can also make a report online: dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov.

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