Video: Hurt in Baby Sign Language

Signing: To sign hurt, take your two hands and make each into a fist with your index finger extended. Point the index fingers of each hand at one another and twist the two hands back and forth. Now if only there was a sign for hurt that adults could use with one another.

The sign is placed at the location of the hurt.

Hurt in Baby Sign Language
Figure: Hurt in Baby Sign Language

Usage: When a child visibly hurts themselves make the sign over the location of the hurt. You can also do hurt with picture books where a character has perhaps a bandaged paw. Hurt is a tremendously useful sign. Funny enough, when a child is hurt, just being able to communicate to you that they are hurt and to have you understand that is worth as much as any medicine.

Hurt Flash Card Thumbnail

Flash Card: Click the link to view the Hurt Baby Sign Language Flash Card. The flash cards are printable and available in both U.S. Letter and A4 sizes.

Related Signs:

Hospital, Doctor, Nurse.

11 Responses to “Hurt”

  1. Maura

    Hi! I have found several different signs for โ€œscar.โ€ Would you recommend dragging the pointer finger down to indicate a scar? Thank you!

    ADMIN – Hi Maura,

    Yes, that would be my choice.

  2. kirk gainsford

    I would really like to speak to someone regarding new words, words that don’t feature here. It’s for a very important project we are working on in South Africa. who can i communicate with?

    ADMIN – Hi Kirk,

    You can email us at [email protected]

  3. Hayley

    I’m familiar with this sign and teaching ASL to infants in my care.
    One issue I wanted to mention about the sign for ‘hurt’ is that it’s really difficult for young ones. As they don’t yet have the muscle control or fine motor skill to tap index fingers. But don’t give up- it just takes a little longer for them to really show you. But praise when they attempt any sign is great encouragement! ‘Hurt’ is one of the most useful signs to learn. Right up there with milk & more! Don’t forget signing please & thank you! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  4. Linda

    Thank you for the video. It must have taken 10 minutes to show on my screen.
    The description in print seems more difficult to understand with the words “twist the two hands back and forth.”
    Thank you.

    ADMIN – Hi Linda,

    I just checked the video and it appears to be loading at the proper speed on my side. Please try it again.

  5. Linda

    The video for “hurt” doesn’t seem to be working. I was hoping to get a better idea of the action. Thank you for the written description of the action.

  6. OP

    Is there a specific sign for “ow” or “ouch”? Thank you in advance!

    ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

    Please refer to the sign for hurt.

  7. Claire

    Hi, I using sign with my 3 year old who has just been confirmed as Autistic. Is 3 still young enough to pick up sign and understand it.

    ADMIN – Hi Claire,

    Little ones can learn signs at any stage. Confer with the speech therapist and they will give you additional guidance regarding communication. In addition to signing many little ones with autism use the flashcards as a means to communicate by pointing. Finally, if your little one has demonstrated positive responses to music consider using the song videos from our Signing Time collection. I encourage you to join us on Facebook, we have several parents walking the same journey.

  8. Janet Mighty

    Thanks for sharing the letter. I too am teaching my grand daughter to sign and it is such a joy! She is also enjoying it and signs very often. Her vocab is very advance for a 15 monther.

  9. Lake

    Actually, on that topic, there are entries for ‘hit’ and ‘don’t hit.’ How about entries for ‘bite’ and ‘don’t bite”?

  10. Lake

    If the ‘hurt’ sign goes over the body part in pain, any advice for how to indicate that a finger is the part that hurts? Like when my daughter bites my finger too hard now that she’s teething.

    ADMIN – Hi Lake,

    Indicating the finger is hurt is tricky. You can do it with just one hand pointing at the spot of the hurt finger.

  11. Nichola Deacon

    Hi, I’ve just been looking at your site as I’d like to teach signs to my baby to begin to help him communicate. The videos and images in the dictionary are immensely useful so thank you! I was looking at the sign for “hurt” though and am a little confused as the video and the image show different signs. Both start with the index fingers pointing to each other, but do you then tap (like the video) or twist (like the image) or does it not really matter?
    Also, are there any guidelines on an ideal age to start signing? I’m well aware my baby is probably a bit young still (at 4 months!) but thought it couldn’t hurt showing him a couple of basic signs now.
    Many thanks!

    ADMIN – Hi Nichola,

    Tapping the index finger together (shown in the video), and making a twisting motion (shown in the diagram) are both variations for hurt in American Sign Language. I find the tapping variation is the easier for a baby to perform, but feel free to do either.

    Six months is a good age to start. Starting earlier never hurts, you just have to be a bit more patient to see results. Keep us posted.

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