Jodi Whitaker

By

College: Medicine

Know Signs of Child Abuse, How to Get Help

Published: Apr 23, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, April 21.

 

By Dr. Jamie Pittenger

 

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and unfortunately, Kentucky is one of the worst states for child abuse and child deaths due to non-accidental trauma.

 

Each year in Kentucky, there are more than 14,000 substantiated reports of abuse and neglect. The result is that Kentucky averages 30 to 40 child deaths each year involving abuse and neglect, with another 30 to 60 near fatalities annually. Child abuse does not discriminate based on race, religion, or socioeconomic status.

 

The aftermath of physical abuse usually requires ongoing treatment and therapy, and often results in irreversible brain damage and limits on cognitive development, causing lifelong learning and socialization challenges.

 

The financial resources to treat the physical and psychological needs of victims of child abuse are often derived from state-funded programs generated and maintained from taxpayers’ dollars; not to mention the staggering monetary drain it takes to prosecute, incarcerate, and rehabilitate perpetrators of child abuse.

 

Child abuse hurts everyone. So, how can parents, teachers, relatives, friends and other caregivers help to prevent child abuse?

 

  • Know how to spot the signs of abuse. Young children are not able to report abuse, and older children may be too afraid to do so. Bruising is an important warning sign for child abuse for infants and children. For a non-mobile infant, bruising of ANY KIND is not normal. For a child of any age, bruising to the ears, neck, torso, buttocks or genitals should raise concerns. If you see bruising, seek immediate medical attention for the infant or child.
  • Be aware of steps to staying in control to prevent abuse. It is normal to feel frustrated when a baby or young child cries, but crying is the way they communicate. If you are feeling frustrated or angry, take a break. It’s OK to leave the baby in a crib or other safe place while you take a moment to regroup.
  • Use extreme care when deciding who can watch your child. If you don’t have total and complete trust in the person, then don’t trust him or her with your child.
  • Know how to report child abuse. Federal and state laws require that you report any suspected child abuse, and you have several options to do so.
  •  In situations involving children in immediate danger, call 911 or the local emergency number. In Kentucky, if you need an immediate response to your report, call the Kentucky Child Protection Hotline toll free 24/7 at 877-KYSAFE1 (877-597-2331). Anonymous calls are accepted. To report non-emergency situations that do not require an immediate response, you can use the web-based reporting system at https: //prd.chfs.ky.gov/ReportAbuse from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, except for state holidays. Anonymous reports are accepted.
  • Finally, know where to find good sources for more information about resources and child abuse prevention. In Kentucky, contact Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky at 859- 225-8879, toll free at 1-800-244-5373, or PCAKY.org.

 

The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, staffed with professional counselors, is available 24/7 at 1-800-422-4453 or Childhelp.org.

 

Dr. Jaime Pittenger is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Kentucky and a physician at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

pittenger_jaime002.jpg
July
 
 
1
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
2
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
3
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
4
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
5
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
6
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Benday Dot Day
Sun
7
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
8
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
9
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
10
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
11
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
12
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
International Youth Water Justice Summit
Sat
13
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
14
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
15
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
16
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Dr. Greg Jicha)
Wed
17
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
18
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
19
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Color Water Balloon Fight
Sat
20
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Summer Salon: Landscape as Subject with Tom Barnes, Photographer
Sun
21
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
22
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
23
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
24
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
25
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
26
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
27
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
28
 
Mon
29
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
30
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Mary Crowley Schmidt)
Wed
31
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
 
 

Fri, 08/01/2014 - Wed, 09/03/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Fri, 08/01/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Sat, 08/02/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Sun, 08/03/2014

Sun, 08/03/2014

Reset Page