When is a bruise or a mark noteworthy?
I’ve been on the safeguarding training, I’ve seen the body maps of where accidental and non-accidental injuries are likely to occur. Today I have woken up with a black bruise on my upper arm, it’s about 6″ by 1.5″, it hurts and I don’t know where it came from! I guess it was from when we went out for a walk yesterday and were clambering past/ through some trees but I don’t know.
If a child were to appear with a bruise of similar proportions and no reliable story to suggest where such a bruise had come from we would be a bit suspicious. My bruise is not suspicious – to me, I just can’t explain it.
We have clear guidelines to follow when it comes to children. We occasionally see parents who have bruises/ injuries that they do not necessarily want to talk about – it could be that domestic violence has taken place or it could be from doing something incredibly stupid (my husband once had a wonderful mark on his forehead from being a Dalek using a baby’s toy with a suction cap – it seemed like a good idea at the time!).
Should we get involved? We generally make a friendly comment on the injury in a non-committal way and try to check that things are OK. Children living in a house where domestic violence occurs are likely to be suffering in someway even if they aren’t actually physically hurt. If a parent does not want to tell us then there isn’t a lot we can do as long as the child is alright.
So I will go back to school this week and as the weather is not very hot I will probably get away with wearing a jumper or cardigan so that the bruise won’t be noticed. If it is seen and commented upon I am happy to say that it is a mystery but I wonder what impression it gives to others.