April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
By Capt. Megan Fitzsimmons, Pediatric Clin
April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and the Air Force is empowering families to triumph over childhood violence.
According to experts from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 740,000 children are treated in emergency rooms as a result of violence every year; that is more than 84 children each hour. Every year, more than three million reports of child abuse are received by state and local agencies – a staggering six reports every minute.
The key to avoiding childhood violence is prevention. Families who have stable and nurturing relationships are less likely to experience childhood violence in their homes than families who are unstable.
Children need parents who can identify and provide for their needs. Parenting can be difficult and stressful, and sometimes they need support, resources, and guidance to take the best possible care of their children.
There are several protective factors that can help lower the incidence of child abuse:
· Build a strong bond with your children by making time to do activities together.
· Find the best positive coping strategies for your family.
· Enforce discipline with clear limits and boundaries for children older than 15 months of age – with expectations based on their age and development.
· Understand the basic development of a child’s age.
· Recognize your own limitations and know when to ask for help.
· Be socially active! Being active is healthy for both parents and children.
· Have a good support system and know who to call if there are questions or problems.
These protective measures are important for families since they reinforce one another.
· Child Welfare Information Gateway website: http://www.childwelfare.gov
· National Parent Helpline: 1 (855) 427-2736 or http://www.nationalparenthelpline.org
· Born Learning: http://www.bornlearning.org
· Parents Anonymous: 903-629-7588 or http://www.parentsanonymous.org.
Purchase blue pinwheels that symbolize Child Abuse Awareness. Put them on your lawns in front of your house. Put them in your place of employment. Put them out for all to see and become Aware of Child Prevention. There are also Pins and bracelets to help spread this important message with everyone. There are many places on the internet that sell them. I know that Amazon sells them also. We can all do our part and acknowledge April as Child Abuse Awareness and bring attention to this terrible crime against children.