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
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Employer Showcase
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
28
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
 
Tue
 
 
 
 
Sep 02
Internship Info Session 09/02/2014
Reset Page