New York Post/Tom Topousis

Parents on the lookout for sexual abuse of their children need to play the role of detective,looking for subtle changes in behavior that are most often the sign of a problem, according toexperts. Most kids are fearful they'll anger their parents, don't wait for a child to volunteerthat they have been abused, said Mary Pulido, director of the child-protection center. Some of thesigns to look for:

- Children who suddenly develop an aversion to school.

- A noticeable increase in time a child wants to spend indoors watching TV instead of going outto play.

- Clinging, anxious or irritable behavior.

- Regression to infant-like habits, including thumb-sucking.

- Fear of particular people.

Parents have to remain calm and resist the urge to push too hard. It's important to remain calmwhile a child describes what could be sexual abuse. Dr. Linda Cahill, medical director of theMontefiore Medical Center's Child Protection Center said, A parent panicking sends an immediatemessage to a child that they've done something wrong. She said when that happens, a child willusually avoid talking about it again.