CHICAGO (CBS) — State child welfare officials say it’s too hard to tell whether there’s been an increase in reports of child abuse since news broke about Vikings running back Adrian Peterson taking a stick to his four-year old son.

DCFS spokeswoman Karen Hawkins says there’s always a spike in reports of child neglect and abuse this time of year–right when school is resuming.

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She says, “Teachers are mandated reporters. They are required by law to call the hotline when they suspect some type of maltreatment has happened to a child so we’re always going to see an increase around this time.”

Hawkins says there’s a line between disciplining a child and physically abusing a child and that you should call the state’s child abuse hotline if you suspect a child is being beaten. “Think of how you’d feel if you were that child and you knew adults knew what was happening around you and didn’t say anything”, she says.

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Hawkins says disciplining goes too far, is too excessive when it leaves marks on a child or injures a child or an implement, like a stick is used, on a child.

The hotline number is 800-25-ABUSE.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services receives as many as 240-thousand calls every year to its child neglect and abuse hotline. Hawkins says they’re answered by trained social workers. About 25-33% of the calls result in official investigation.

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Hawkins says child abuse and neglect is everybody’s business.