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Bury Safeguarding Children Board

Working together to safeguard children and young people in Bury

What to do if you are worried a child is being abused

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, you should contact:

  • Bury Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Team on 0161-253-5678 or outside of office hours the Emergency Duty Team on 0161-253-6606; or
  • Greater Manchester Police on 101.

If the child is in immediate danger ring Greater Manchester Police on 999.

If you are a professional and wish to make a referral please refer to Procedures and useful documents on this website for interagency referral forms and the link to the safeguarding procedures.

Signs of abuse

The following may help you decide whether a child's welfare is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect. A child is defined as a person who has not yet reached the age of 18 years.

Signs which may suggest physical abuse

  • Any bruising to a baby - pre-walking stage
  • Multiple bruising to different parts of the body
  • Bruising of different colours indicating repeated injuries
  • Fingertip bruising to the chest, back, arms or legs
  • Burns of any shape or size
  • An injury for which there is no adequate explanation
  • A parent or carer who fakes or induces symptoms of physical illness in their child.

Signs of possible sexual abuse

  • Something a child has told you
  • Something a child has told someone else
  • A child who shows worrying sexualised behaviour in their play or with other children
  • A child who seems to have inappropriate sexual knowledge for their age
  • A child who may be being targeted by older adults for sex
  • A child who may be visiting or being looked after by a known or suspected sexual offender.

Signs which may suggest emotional harm

The following signs may be present in children whose parents are over-critical and emotionally distant, or who are unable to meet their child's emotional needs:

  • Children whose behaviour is excessive. For example, excessive bed wetting, overeating, rocking, head banging
  • Children who self harm. For example, they may cut or scratch themselves or overdose
  • Children who attempt suicide
  • Children or young people who persistently run away from home
  • Children who show high levels of anxiety, unhappiness or withdrawal
  • Children who usually seek out or avoid affection.

Signs which may suggest neglect

  • Squalid, unhygienic or dangerous home conditions
  • Parents who fail to attend to their children's health or development needs
  • Children who appear persistently undersized or underweight
  • Children who continually appear tired or lacking in energy
  • Children who suffer frequent injuries due to lack of supervision.

Positive ways of protecting children

What children need

  • To feel safe and secure
  • Health and happiness
  • Appropriate affection
  • Lots of smiles
  • Praise and encouragement
  • To be able to talk to someone
  • To be listened to
  • New experiences
  • Respect for their feelings
  • Rewards and treats.