The Effects of
Preventing Child Abuse...We Can
LIVING IN DANGER
HOW YOU CAN HELP
REAL KIDS – REAL FEAR
If you have contact with a child that you believe may have been
Donnie’s mother was a meth addict. He said he never knew
exposed to a meth lab, or that you believe may have been
when she’d be back, where his next meal would come from, or
abused or neglected, you should inform local law enforcement
even where he’d live the next day. He was scared all the time.
and call the DCFS child abuse hotline.
Jessica was afraid of her mother. She said her mother would go
into paranoid rages when coming down off drugs. Jessica says
How to report abuse to DCFS
her mother hit her in the face, drug her by the hair and slapped
• Call the DCFS hotline at 1-800-25ABUSE (1-800-252-2873).
her on the back.
• Have the following information, if possible:
Michael said he found used needles, handguns, and drugs lying
Date of birth
around the house. He was terriﬁ ed of the drugged-out strangers
who were constantly in and out of his home.
Information about siblings
• Identify if you are a mandated reporter.
PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE...
• State if you think it is an emergency.
WE CAN SUCCEED!
• State why you have reason to believe the child is abused
and/or neglected (report factual information and
Design and editing of this brochure donated by:
• Document the name of the hotline worker and the date and
Printing of this brochure supported by:
time of your call.
Sponsor Name Here
• If you are a mandated reporter, complete the DCFS report
Sponsor Name Here
form. This form must be sent to the local DCFS Investigative
Unit. (Keep a copy for your records).
• Your name is not given to those being investigated. Laws
protect conﬁ dentiality of mandated reporters.
Prevention Resource Development Project
528 South 5th Street, Suite 211 • Springﬁ eld, Illinois 62701
217.522.1129 (ofﬁ ce) • 217.522.0655 (fax)
Prevent Child Abuse America
HOW ARE CHILDREN
USE DOES AFFECT
Children who are exposed to the chemicals used to manufacture
MAKING THE CONNECTION
meth may experience:
Methamphetamine, or “meth,” is the number one drug problem
It is not uncommon to ﬁnd meth homes that lack heating,
Irritation of the eyes, skin or mucus membranes
in rural America and is quickly spreading to urban areas.
cooling or running water. They may be infested with rodents
• Respiratory difﬁculties, ranging from wheezing to respiratory
and insects such as cockroaches, ﬂeas and lice. Parents and
What is methamphetamine?
caretakers who are using meth frequently fail to protect the
• Chemical burns on the skin
children’s safety and fail to provide for basic needs such as
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that affects the
• Unusual odor and may appear unclean
food, hygiene, dental and medical care, and appropriate
central nervous system and is:
• Dizziness, nausea and fatigue
sleeping conditions. Meth using adults often become irritable,
• Highly addictive
careless and violent.
Among other threats, children in meth homes face the
• Easily manufactured from inexpensive household substances
Children exposed to environments where meth is used or
• Ingested by smoking, snorting, injecting or swallowing
manufactured may show some of the following signs or
• Quick acting—effects can begin within 2 – 5 minutes
• Fires and explosions
• Long lasting—effects can last 6 – 24 hours
• Guns, explosives and booby traps
• Wary of adult contact
• Mood altering—periods of confusion, known as “tweaking,”
• Abuse and neglect
• Frightened of parents
can last 24 – 36 hours
• Sexual abuse
• Behavioral extremes; aggressiveness or withdrawal
Meth is being manufactured or “cooked” in small home-based
• Accidental skin prick from discarded needles or other drug
• Reluctance to go home
laboratories. These makeshift labs are usually found in locations
• Begging or stealing food
accessible to children like the bedroom, garage or kitchen. The
• Dangerous living conditions
• Poor hygiene
chemicals used to manufacture meth are highly toxic,
• Social and emotional problems
• Inappropriate dress
ﬂammable and explosive.
• Unattended physical or medical needs
HOW ARE CHILDREN IN DANGER
Laws impacting the issue:
• Excessive fatigue
• Difﬁculty walking or sitting
Two Illinois laws became effective in 2004 pertaining to child
A child may inhale or swallow toxic substances or inhale the
endangerment and the production of methamphetamine:
• Poor peer relationships
secondhand smoke of adults who are using meth. Children
• Developmental delays
also absorb meth and other toxic substances through their
• The ﬁrst law creates the criminal offense of drug-related
• Infantile behavior by older children
skin following contact with contaminated surfaces, clothing
child endangerment. This crime is committed when a person
• Takes on the parenting or caretaker role in the family
knowingly exposes a child to a clandestine laboratory
environment. Aggravated drug-related child endangerment
• Extended stays at school; early
occurs when the lab causes death, great bodily harm,
arrival and late departure
disability or disﬁgurement to the child.
• Sudden changes in behavior
or school performance
• The second law restricts the sale of some chemicals used in
• Child reports incidents of
the production of methamphetamine along with increased
injury or neglect
sentences for persons convicted of manufacturing the drug.