Tag Archives: Child Abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Chatham County Board of Health has passed a Resolution and the Chatham County Board of Commissioners and North Carolina Governor, Bev Perdue, have proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. To learn more, click here


Children and Hot Cars Do Not Mix

It is May and we’ve already felt the 80-90 degree hot summerlike days.  While it may be tempting, and you think you will only be gone a minute, do not leave your child in hot, unventilated vehicles.

child locked in car

Every year, children die as a direct result of being left alone in a hot vehicle.  According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Foundation, a child’s body temperature can get as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 10 minutes.  As a result, damage to the brain and vital organs, heat stroke, dehydration, seizures, and death can occur. 

 ACEP offers these prevention tips: 

  • Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.
  • Never let your children play in an unattended vehicle.
  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle before you get out.
  • If your infant or young child travels in a rear-facing car seat or the back seat, keep a reminder for you in the front seat, for example, a stuffed animal.
  • Always lock the doors and keep any keys out of reach from children.
  • If you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call the police.  If they appear in distress, don’t hesitate, get them out as quickly as possible, cool the child rapidly and call 911 or your local emergency number.

Click here to see a Consumer Reports video about heat in cars.

It could happen to you:  See this ABC News Video

For more information, go to http://www.kidsandcars.org/


Ten Ways to Prevent Child Abuse

Every child deserves a healthy, safe and nurturing childhood as well as the opportunity to grow up to be a caring, adult member of our community. Unfortunately, child abuse and neglect can damage a child’s developing brain, thereby limiting the child’s potential for success. But, there’s great news: child abuse is preventable! Here are 10 ways you can help prevent child abuse in our community.

1. Be a nurturing parent.
Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams.

2. Help a friend, neighbor or relative.
Being a parent isn’t easy. Offer a helping hand take care of the children, so the parent(s) can rest or spend time together.

3. Help yourself.
When the big and little problems of your everyday life pile up to the point you feel overwhelmed and out of control – take time out. Don’t take it out on your kid.

4. If your baby cries…
It can be frustrating to hear your baby cry. Learn what to do if your baby won’t stop crying. Never shake a baby – shaking a child may result in severe injury or death.

5. Get involved.
Ask your community leaders, clergy, library and schools to develop services to meet the needs of healthy children and families.

6. Help to develop parenting resources at your local library.

7. Promote programs in school.
Teaching children, parents and teachers prevention strategies can help to keep children safe.

8. Monitor your child’s television and video viewing.
Watching violent films and TV programs can harm young children.

9. Volunteer at a local child abuse prevention program.
For information about volunteer opportunities, call 1.800.CHILDREN.

10. Report suspected abuse or neglect.
If you have reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed, call your local department of children and family services or your local police department.

Source: Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina: www.preventchildabusenc.org


April is Prevent Child Abuse Month

During the 2008 calendar year, 33 children died from child abuse homicide in North Carolina.  For even one child to die at the hands of a caregiver is one too many.  All too often, the general community thinks the problem of child abuse and neglect stems from a few “monsters” who abuse children.

However, the reality is that all parents are at risk of abusing and neglecting their children.  The majority of parents reported to the Department of Social Services are reported for “neglect”.  In other words, they are reported because of circumstances related to poverty, inadequate resources, a general lack of knowledge and understanding of child development, a lack of positive discipline techniques and other problems that arise in over-stressed parents such as domestic violence and substance abuse.

Chatham County parents face significant challenges.  However, with the provision of education, support and linkage to community resources, we can support families and improve their ability to nurture and raise healthy, happy children who arrive at school ready to learn. 

You can make a difference for Chatham County families by better supporting and educating parents.  During the month of April, concerned citizens nationwide participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month activities by wearing blue ribbons to symbolize that they support children and families. 

We can all help prevent child abuse in our community.

Ways you can help:

  • Be a nurturing parent!
  • Help a friend, neighbor, or relative if they are having difficulty with their family.
  • Get involved—advocate for services that help families.
  • Educate parents you know about healthy child development.
  • Ask for help for yourself.

If you suspect a child is being maltreated, the child must be protected.  The public can call Chatham County Department of Social Services at 919-542-0536 or call 911. A social worker will listen to you and take down all the information you give.  It will be helpful if you can provide the following information:

  • The name, address, and age of the child
  • The name and address or the child’s parent, guardian, or caretaker
  • The child’s condition, including the nature and extent of the injury
  • Any information regarding the presence of weapons, alcohol/drug abuse, or other factors affecting the social worker’s safety are important

Anyone can make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect.  You do not need to prove that abuse has taken place; you only need reasonable grounds for suspicion.  You do not have to give your name.  You do not need permission from parents or caregivers to make a report and you do not need to tell them you are reporting.  You do not need permission from your workplace to make a report, but there may be guidelines to help you. 

By providing education and support to parents, we can make a difference in a child’s life.

(Information provided by Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina)

Join us as we “Stand Together for Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness” on Tuesday, April 27 at 5:30pm at Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro campus.  This will be a short program to honor those whose lives have been touched by sexual assault, child abuse and neglect and to encourage our community to do more about these issues.