Monday, April 2, 2018


Child abuse and neglect are significant public health problems in the United States.

Each day more than five children die as a result of abuse or neglect. On average, a child abuse report is made every 10 seconds for a total of approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports annually. 

Child abuse and neglect includes all types of abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.

There are four common types of abuse and neglect.

Physical abuse is the use of physical force, such as hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or other shows of force against a child.
Sexual abuse involves inducing or coercing a child to engage in sexual acts. It includes behaviors such as fondling, penetration, and exposing a child to other sexual activities.
Emotional abuse refers to behaviors that harm a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being. Examples include name calling, shaming, rejection, withholding love, and threatening.
Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. These needs include housing, food, clothing, education, and access to medical care

Guide to preventing child abuse
  • ·         Never discipline your child when your anger is out of control.
  • ·         Participate in your child’s activities and get to know your child’s friends.
  • ·         Never leave your child unattended, especially in the car.
  • ·         Teach your child to use their voice to allow them to prevent abuse in their own life.
  • ·     Ask questions; for example, when your child tells you he or she doesn’t want to be with someone, this could be a red flag.
  • ·         Listen to them and believe what they say.
  • ·         Be aware of changes in your child’s behavior or attitude and inquire into it.
  • ·         Teach your child what to do if you and your child become separated while away from home.
  • ·         Teach your child the correct names of his/her private body parts.
  • ·         Be alert for any talk that reveals premature sexual understanding.
  • ·         Pay attention when someone shows greater than normal interest in your child.
  • ·    Make certain your child’s school or day care center will release him/her only to you or someone you officially designate.

Unexplained injuries aren't the only signs of abuse. Depression, fear of a certain adult, difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility are often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.

If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to your state's child protective services department (link below) or local police (link below). When a child talks about abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that he or she did the right thing by talking to you, and affirm that he or she is not responsible for what happened.      Patient Centered Care, PLLC  910-799-6262