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.

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April
 
 
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Men's Tennis vs. Illinois
UK Softball vs. Louisville
UK Men's Tennis vs. Northern Kentucky
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Student Health Advisory Council Meeting
Best Practices for Tree Planting and Establishment Class 2
Selecting the Right Tree for Your Landscape Class 1
#TrendingTopics: It's Not Easy Being Green
Wed
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UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
UK Baseball vs. Florida
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Creoles Topopholia
Religion & Politics in Anxious States
Exploring, Remixing, Analyzing: Teaching History with Digital Media
Cormac O'Grada - "The Nature of Famines"
"The Nature of Famines," Committee on Social Theory Public Lecture
Building a Rain Garden: Collaborative Effort with UK
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Bluegrass Bazaar
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Ride the Legacy
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Explore Leadership Workshops
Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Job Club: Research Your Target Organization Before the Interview: What to Know and How to Find Out
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UK Softball vs. Wright State
Dine. Discover. Decide.: Connecting students to alumni in 3D!
Earth Days in the Bluegrass and the Late Night Film Series Present: Gasland Part II, A Bike-In Movie
UK Baseball vs. Morehead State
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LNFS presents Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
UK Men's Tennis vs. Ohio State
Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Wellness On Wheels
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Overview of Nursing Home Care
Spring (Bike) Fever Twitter Chat
UK Softball vs. Mississippi Valley
Best Practices for Tree Planting and Establishment Class 2
UK Men's Tennis vs. Morehead State
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Mountain Biking for Beginners Clinic
LNFS presents The Mexican Suitcase
Mr. PharmD
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UK Baseball vs. Missouri
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UK Baseball vs. Missouri
UK Men's Golf Bluegrass Invitational
Arboretum Volunteer Training and Orientation
Taste of Africa
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Swing Dancing!
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Explore Leadership Workshops
Job Club: Tighten Your Budget after a Job Loss
‘Project Learning Tree’ Workshop for Educators
Drug War Talk by Anthropologist Howard Campbell
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LNFS presents The Lego Movie
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Legacy Week: Ping Pong Ball Drop
Health Smart: Mindfulness
Pre-Pharmacy Club Meeting
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and Tree Healthcare Class 4
Shuffle Series: Bluegrass
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LNFS presents The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
UK Toastmasters
Wellness On Wheels
LNFS presents Juno
Legacy Week: Candlelight Ceremony
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LNFS presents The Brave Little Toaster
Bonfires of Illusions: the Twin Crises of the Liberal World
Arbor Day Volunteer Orientation and Training
Alex Callinicos - "Bonfires of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World
LNFS presents Pariah
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Color Me Spring Fashion Show
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Arbor Day at The Arboretum
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
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UK Wind Symphony Concert
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Relieving Stress Through Your Senses
Tree Identification Class 5
Massage on the Go #3
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Apr 16
LNFS presents Blue Velvet 04/16/2014

Wed, 04/16/2014

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