Children Are Precious, Let's Keep Them Safe From Harm
By Kathy Kelly, CAPS Program Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m sure that many of you know that April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. In the USA there are at least four child abuse related deaths every day – a horrible fact – and the abuser is most likely to be a parent, close family member, or the parent’s partner.
Yes, April is the month when you will hear the statistics, but we can all play a role in making every day of every month a child abuse prevention day. Child abuse and neglect happens in every population and geographic area. It does not recognize economic status, education level, or ethnicity. And sadly, child murder is the fourth leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 9!
Parenting can be a tough job, but most parents don’t want to hurt their children. There are ways we all can help. Get to know the people in your neighborhood, stay in touch with family members or friends with children and most of all be observant. If a parent seems to be overwhelmed or extremely stressed—whatever the reason, offer them a break – babysit for a few hours, run some errands or ask if you can help in some other way. It truly does take a village to raise a child. Children are our future. They are the future of our very society.
Beyond preventing abuse or neglect, we can work together toward the goal of helping children have happy and active childhoods.
- Listen to them—just spend a few minutes while making eye contact to listen to the child talk, telling you about their day or their pet or their friends.
- Find activities that you and your child (or grandchild) can enjoy together. If you hate the park, don’t go. Rather, find a place that both of you can enjoy together, that way the time you spend together will be fun and relaxing (zoo, movies, art gallery, children’s museum, even shopping can be an adventure).
- Let them know they are special and loved by reading to them.
- Put away the electronics for an evening and go for a walk, play a game or create something – there are simple craft projects for all age levels available with an online search.
- Plan and prepare a meal together.
- Sing a song or play music and dance.
- Laugh and be silly together.
Let’s do our part to keep children safe from harm. If you suspect that a child is being neglected or abused, take steps to protect them. If a child confides in you, believe them, listen and don't be critical of the child (or the parent). Assure the child they are not to blame—but you should report the incident. Here in Ingham County the number to call is 1-855-444-3911. #greatchildhoods #CAPMonth #showchildrentheyarespecial #kidsneedourprotection #ittakesavillage
Resource Guide to Child Abuse Prevention: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/guide_2019.pdf