Just a Bruise or Something Else?


toddler bruisesMy 4 year old daughter likes visiting her pediatrician. He's young and cute and she has a big crush on him. I recently learned that she's going to marry him some day.

I like her doctor, too, but I kinda dreaded her well-baby visits when she was younger. My daughter is a total klutz not the most graceful girl. And she's always been very headstrong. In fact, it's rare when her legs are not leopard-like with little bruises from jumping off the slide or wrestling with her brother when I advise against it.

I didn't think it was a big deal until one doctor visit. She had to be around 18 months or so because she was going through a rebellious stage at the time, when the ped noticed not only all the black-and-blues on her knees and shins, but these fingerprint shaped bruises all around her butt and thighs.

Something about the way he asked me about them stopped me in my tracks. "OMG! Is he suggesting that I'm abusing my child!?"

I wasn't doing anything of the sort, of course. And I was pretty certain no one else was, either. I'm really attune to that stuff, and suffice it to say that I'd search out and destroy anyone who ...

So, did I mention my daughter was going through a rebellious stage at the time?

She would not let me bathe her. She would not let me feed her. She would not let me dress her. She would not let me buckle her into her car seat. And she certainly would not let me diaper her. I'm stating the obvious here when I say you cannot clean a poopy bum properly when the toddler is writhing, jumping, and screaming. Sometimes, for health and hygiene's sake, you have to hold her down. Gently if you can, but firmly if necessary. Thus, the teeny bruises from my fingers grabbing her squishy little butt.

The doctor totally understood, of course, and even chuckled. He explained that bruises, scratches and bumps are as common and normal on toddlers as rain in springtime, but that certain types of bruises on certain areas of the body raise a red flag.

These include bruising on infants, unexplained bruises, bruises in unusual places (upper arms, hands, ears, neck, buttocks, etc.), and bruises in specific shapes, like a large bite mark, cigarette burn, or belt mark. All of these could be signs of child abuse. Most times, doctors know how to tell the difference, but not always.

A few moms around CafeMom have shared similar stories of a vigilant doc or day care worker spotting something that turned out to be nothing. But I'm thrilled they're looking. I'll gladly be offended once in a while if it means keeping my little girl safe and healthy.

++Is your toddler covered in bruises? Has anyone ever questioned them -- what happened?

child care, discipline, doctor visits, health, safety


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Jessy... Jessy0419

My 2 year old is but he climbs everything and runs without watching where he's going.

Lokis... LokisMama

My two year old son is a bruise magnet.  But then, boys  being boys, he jumps off of stuff twice his height and runs around like a maniac!

Agent... AgentBrez

my toddler always has bruises on her shins. it looks horrible but i know its completely normal for her age. no one has ever said anything about it to me.

irish... irishstarz

Nope, no one has ever asked me about the tiny and obviously play/fall-related bruises my Son winds up with. He even got a bruise on the top of His eyelid where He'd smacked into a chair and no one asked anything except 'Did you bump into something, cutie?'..then chuckled when I told the story. I stay with my Son 24/7 so I know what every bruise, scrape, bump is from..He is a TODDLER BOY. That explains it all! Everyone knows I don't even want to tap Him on the butt..so hurting Him is not even a one-second thought. But it is def good that docs keep an eye out..

justa... justanotherjen

My 6yo is the queen of bruises.  In the summer her legs are covered from ankle to thigh in bruises.  She is such a klutz.  My 7yo son looks about the same but he's a boy so you almost expect that.  My toddler...not so much.  She's pretty good at not falling, lol.

Kaytl... Kaytlynsmommy

My daughter is 3 and has been accident prone since she was old enough to fall down. Just a few months ago she was running through the livingroom while I was in the bedroom(one room away) breastfeeding my son....she slipped on who-knows-what and smacked the corner of her nose into the coffee table. It looks like someone punched her in the face. I honestly didn't take her out of the house until the bruise went away. What if someone thought we did it? She's always getting bloody lips and bloody noses. It honestly looks like we abuse her, but that's just her. Anyone who really knows her knows that she's always getting herself hurt....she's like a boy. But it still scares me to think that people are saying stuff behind our backs.

laral... laralizbeth81

I was going to a doc at one time an she questioned me about my son her point was more does he need glasses I pulled up my daughters pants leg as well as mine she grined an said must get it from you that was the only doctor who ever made a jesture about it

jball... jballentine

My middle daughter has a birthmark on her arm the whole length of it as a matter of fact and depending if she is hot or cold depends on the color, sometimes it is red sometimes it is purple sometimes you can barely see it at all. well I was working for a daycare and my kids went with me and there were two different buildings one for the big kids one for the infant and toddlers. well i worked at the big school and she went to the i/t building and I had explained the birthmark to them and we had been there long enough for them to know it was really a birthmark. but they tried to file a child abuse report anyway so the director just filed the paper in cerrys file and never said anything to me because she knew what it was and she didn't see it necessary to let me know about it till about a month later when i was doing some filing in the office and I came across it i was like wth is this and she explained and so i went down to the other building and was mad and they had the balls to tell me well we just love her and we didn't know if you were hurting her or not. I was so mad and if i didn't work there i would have pulled my kids out fast. I do understand they were just looking out for my dd but I had already told them what it was and we had been there for months so they knew what it was.

Satyr... SatyrsMom

My son has been getting hurt since he was born. About  5 months ago he was still banging his head and face on everything and one night he hit his eye with a wooden spoon at grandmas and got a black eye to go with what he had. I was at the ER fo my husband and my mom calls freaking out saying he just had to come in. The Dr. took one look at him and me and said "yep you got a healthy strong baby boy" But the guy intern was asking my husband about me hitting him and after he was back asleep at grandmas I get a knock on the door at 11:45 at night. They were looking all over the house and into everything. I started crying and they had t wake him up and check him all over and he was pissed but safe. Where were they when my husband and I were growing up?

banan... bananaapplepie

right? like seriously, my dd's other grandparents called on me and my mom because i wouldnt let my dd go over to there house...

my daughter will be 2 in june, and she purposely falls downstairs, fell off the couch (for "FUN" at the age of 7 months, she laughed and laughed), hits her head against the walls, runs into walls and the street....

she has had mysterious bruises for always, she gets random cuts (like the one on the back of her head that no one knows where it came fom) and is overall clmsy...

althoour daycare does suck... she now has a permanent scar under her chin from where she fell on the fireplace at daycare and no ne called me... and the time she fell off the patio cuz the daycare lady wasnt watching and liz hit her head? she had a rug burn all over her forehead and a bruise the size of a can coaster above her eye for ages, NO ONE CALLED ME AT WORK TO TELL ME and ppl thought i was hte one doing these things to her...


hello? mind your own buisness unless a kid comes out and says daddy raped me or mommy burned me here or something, christ!

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