Tag Archives: children

Integrating Quality Improvement into the Child Health Program

Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) has been participating in the North Carolina Center for Public Health Quality (NC CPHQ) Quality Improvement 101 Training Course since October 2011. NC CPHQ provides grant funding to local health departments interested in improving the quality of their service.  Click here to read more


Protecting Your Kids From Injuries

Lourdie Riding a Bike April 24, 201123Did you know that injuries are the number one cause of death for children and adolescents ages 1 to 21? Many injuries can be prevented by informing yourself of potential risks for your children.

Parents should be aware that children from birth to one year are at risk for motor vehicle injury. It is important that parents use the correct child safety seat for their child, and read and use the instructions on the seat and owner’s manual of the car. Several Health Department Staff are trained as Child Passenger Safety Technicians, and can help with the installation of your car seat if you have questions. Please see the contact information included at the end of this post.

As your child begins to crawl, walk, and become more mobile, it is important for parents to appropriately set up gates by stairs or preclude access to rooms that could potentially be hazardous for the child. Do not use a baby walker, as there is a risk for the child to fall down stairs. Window guards are available for windows above the first floor.

From years 1-4, it is important to keep objects out of reach that could potentially hazardous to your child. Babies explore the world around them by putting things in their mouth, so it is imperative to have child safety lids for medications.  Lock cabinets with potentially dangerous materials such as cleaning solutions. If you have a gun, be sure that it is locked and in a place where the child may not access it. Be aware if your child is on a play date at a house with a gun, and ask about the gun’s storage.

Children are never too young to start learning about safety in the home. Outlet covers and protective measures are a start, but discuss safety with your child as well. Place a sticker for 9-1-1 by the telephone and teach your children to use it during an emergency. Teach your children their name, your name, and telephone number as soon as they are able to use this information. Talk with them about what to do in case of a fire and plan an escape route together. Discuss how to deal with strangers. Periodically remind them about these things so they will remember the information.

Outdoor safety is also important as your child gets older and begins to learn and try new things. All children should wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Teach your children to be aware of the traffic on the road near your house and to cross the street with caution. Younger children (around age 6) aren’t good at judging the speed or sound of a moving car, so it may be best to discuss crossing the street with an adult or older sibling holding their hand.

Children should use a booster seat until the lap belt can be worn low and flat on the hips and the shoulder belt can be worn across the shoulder rather than the face/neck (usually at about 4’9″ tall and between 8 and 12 years old). All children should ride in the back seat. This is the safest place.

If your child is injured, seek appropriate and timely care. All head injuries should be monitored closely. Information from this article was gathered from the American Academy of Pediatrics webiste, and more information is available at http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/safety.cfm.

For more information, or to get help installing a car seat, please contact Jenny McCarthy, Care Manager for the Care Coordination for Children (CC4C) program at jenny.mccarthy@chathamnc.org or 919.545.8332.



Can Your Child Hear You?

Children born in North Carolina are screened for hearing loss before they go home from the hospital. This is an important step in identifying children with hearing loss, but it is only the first step. About 3 children out of every 1,000 newborns have hearing loss. An equal number will acquire hearing loss prior to starting school. Every parent needs to be aware of their child’s development and the signs that hearing loss may have become an issue for their child. Whenever there are concerns about a child’s speech, hearing needs to be checked. Your child’s doctor can refer you to a pediatric audiologist or speech therapist to help.

Each child develops at an individual rate, but there are certain skills that most children will have mastered by the time they reach a certain age. These are sometimes referred to as “milestones.” Being aware of the hearing and speech milestones helps a parent recognize that their child may need some help in this area of development.

Birth – 3 months
Startles to loud sounds
Seems to recognize your voice
Quiets or smiles when spoken to

4 – 6 months
Babbles with many different sounds
Moves eyes in direction of sounds
Notices toys that make sounds
Vocalizes excitement and displeasure

7 months – 1 year
Listens when spoken to
Imitates different speech sounds
Enjoys games like peek-a-boo

1 – 2 years
Points to some body parts when asked
Says more words every month
Listens to simple stories, songs and rhymes
Puts two words together (“more juice”)

2 – 3 years
Understands differences in meaning (“on-in”)
Has a word for almost everything
Often asks for objects by naming them

3 – 4 years
Hears when you call from another room
Talks about activities at school or a friend’s home
People outside family usually understand child’s speech

5 – 6 years
Pays attention and can answer questions about a short story
Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family
Communicates easily with other children and adults

No one knows your child better than you. If you ever have any concerns about your child’s hearing, speech or language development, talk to your medical provider.

If you don’t currently have a medical home for your children, or have concerns about your child and don’t know who to contact, the Chatham County Public Health Department offers Care Coordination for Children (CC4C). CC4C is a free and voluntary program that helps families find and use community services. The CC4C Care Manager will work with families to identify a medical home for their children and support their children in reaching their developmental potential.

If you are interested in CC4C services, or for questions about Care Coordination for Children, please contact Jenny McCarthy at 919.545.8332.

Source: Kathleen Watts, Program Manager, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, NC Division of Public Health

For additional information on speech and language: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)


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/


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.