APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH. EVERY YEAR-- MORE THAN 6 MILLION CHILDREN ARE REPORTED AS VICTIMS OF MALTREATMENT IN THE U-S. DR. MEGHAN LETSON WITH THE OHIO CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDICATRICS SAYS MOST SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS ARE ABUSED BY SOMEONE THEY KNOW AND TRUST. SHE SAYS WHEN IT COMES TO POTENTIAL CAREGIVERS ASK VERY THOROUGH QUESTIONS. AND SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS. AND REMEMBER, IT'S NEVER OK TO SHAKE A BABY.
The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) works to protect children of all ages by providing parents the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to keep communities safe. This month, the Ohio AAP wants to educate adults on the importance of practicing personal accountability in keeping children from harm.
Child Abuse Statistics
o The most recent figures from the 2014 Children's Defense Fund's Annual State of America's Children report that 1,825 children are abused or neglected each day in the U.S.
o Every year more than 3 million reports of child maltreatment are made to state and local agencies in the United States involving more than 6 million children (reports can include multiple children).
o 90% of sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they know and trust.
Tips to Prevent and Raise Awareness for Child Abuse and Neglect Ohio AAP suggests the following steps parents can take to prevent abuse and neglect and ensure safety for their children:
• Select your child's caregivers carefully by doing extensive research and asking thorough questions before making a hiring decision. Be sure they are aware of, and know that you expect them to follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep - babies should always be placed to sleep alone, on their back, in a crib that is free from blankets, bumpers, pillows and soft toys.
• Educate your child about open communication by helping them understand that there are no secrets between children and their parents and fostering a comfortable and trusting environment for my child.
• Pay attention to "grooming" behaviors of other adults. Warning signs include persistence in finding ways to be alone with your child, disregard for your child's need for privacy and tendency to give your child excessive gifts and/or attention.
• If a child tells you that he or she has been abused or neglected, stay calm, listen carefully, do not place blame upon the child and report the abuse right away.
• Contribute to child abuse and neglect awareness by wearing blue, sharing educational information through social media and using the blue pinwheel symbol to create a dialogue among adult peers.