It Starts at Home

Positive parenting skills can largely prevent child abuse and neglect. There’s no such thing as the “perfect parent” or the “perfect child,” but there are ways to help your child have a full, healthy and safe life.

Household Safety, Health and Care
Children are delicate, both emotionally and physically. It’s important to know child health and safety risks and to make adjustments to your home and lifestyle accordingly. Here are a few of the most common issues affecting children:

SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby under one year of age that remains unexplained after the performance of a complete postmortem investigation, including an autopsy, examination of the scene of death and review of the medical history. Many deaths are the result of unsafe sleep practices such as bed sharing, use of soft bedding and stomach sleep position. Practice the safe sleep ABC’s: Alone, on their Back, and in their Crib. Learn more by visiting the First Candle website.

Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when a small child or infant experiences violent shaking or head impact. It can result in moderate to severe brain injury and even death. Never ever shake a baby. When frustrated, take a deep breath, count to 10 and place your baby in a safe place until you are calm. Learn more at the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome website.

Effective Discipline
Corporal punishment is not the answer. Setting limits, providing consequences, and sparking discussions are better ways to discipline children for bad behavior, because they do not have as great of an effect on a child’s physical and emotional well-being. Learn more by visiting The Center for Effective Discipline website.

Knowledge and Awareness
Talk to your children about personal or body safety, so that they know when someone has crossed the line.
As a parent, you can prevent abuse of your child by being aware of:
Where your child is going and who they will be with. Know who is supervising your child.

One-on-one adult/child situations, even if you know and trust the individual. Having multiple-adult supervision decreases the risk of abuse.
Your child's emotional behaviors and physical condition.
If you suspect or know a child is being abused, call the hotline
1-800-800-5556 or call 911 if a child is in imminent danger.