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April 2006

NHM Health Focus: Child Abuse Prevention

 

About Child Abuse
  – Child Abuse and Neglect (APA)
  – Child Maltreatment: Fact Sheet (CDC)
  – Child Abuse (MedlinePlus, NLM)
  – Abuse (TeenHealth, Nemours)
  – Neglect (Coalition for Children)

Child Abuse Prevention Strategies:
  – Child Abduction Prevention Education (CA Attorney General)
  – Child Maltreatment: Prevention Strategies (CDC)
  – Primary Prevention of Child Abuse (AAF)
  – What You Can Do (Prevent Child Abuse America)
  – National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
  – What You Can Do (The Skipper Iniative)
  – Violence Prevention (HealthPolitics)

  – What Parents and Babysitters Need to Know (UMHS)

Child Abuse Prevention Organizations:
  – American Academy of Pediatrics

  – Child Abuse Prevention Association
  – Childhelp USA
  – Healthy Families America
  – National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
  – National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse & Neglect Information
  – Prevent Child Abuse America

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year's theme, Safe Children and Healthy Families are a Shared Responsibility emphasizes the roles of individuals, family and community in the prevention of child abuse.

Child abuse takes many different forms: physical, sexual, neglectful, or emotional, or any combination, and is more common than many people think.

  • "Each year, 1,000,000 children in the United States are victims of child abuse and 3 children a day die from abuse or neglect." (KeepKidsHealthy.com)
  • "Studies show that one in four girls and one in eight boys will be sexually abused before they are 18 years old. About one in 20 children is physically abused each year." (American Academy of Pediatrics)

  • Children (ages 3 and younger) are the most frequent victims of death caused by an injury resulting from abuse or neglect, or where abuse or neglect were contributing factors. NCANDS data for 2002 demonstrated children younger than 1 year accounted for 41 percent of these fatalities, while children younger than 4 years accounted for 76 percent of such fatalities. This population of children is the most vulnerable for many reasons, including their dependency, small size, and inability to defend themselves. National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
  • "Between 70 percent and 79 percent of people convicted of killing or hurting babies are men." The average age of perpetrators is 24; 62 percent are the father of the victim, while another 20 percent are the live-in boyfriend of the mother. (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome)

"Research has identified protective factors known to be correlated with reductions in child abuse and neglect:
    • Parental resilience
    • Nurturing and attachment
    • Social connections
    • Knowledge of parenting and child development
    • Effective problem solving and communication skills
    • Concrete support in times of need
    • Social and emotional competence of children
    • Healthy marriages"
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information

Local, regional and national public and private organizations are working to provide parent education, increase public awareness, and teach child safety skills. In addition, many hours of volunteer work enhance the efforts of these organized efforts to prevent child abuse.

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum resources related to child abuse and prevention: