Detecting, Reporting and Preventing Child Abuse

We hear news of child abuse in many forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, street children, child fatalities, child prostitution, emotional abuse and child labor, etc. For the safety of all children, we have to improve the screening and prompt detection of abuse. Early childhood screening and treatment programs are especially needed.

Abuse should be suspected when the injury, clinical history or findings on diagnostic imaging studies suggest the possibility. Not only with SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome), but with other forms of abuse as well it is sometimes difficult to diagnose from the first signs.

Abusive injuries often go unrecognized because there can be nonspecific signs or symptoms. That is why we need to train all nurses, teaches, and have parenting education as well. Some states are already requiring teacher training on child abuse.

I agree that all states require teachers to report abuse; this can aid in the early detection and help to limit child abuse. “All states require teachers to report suspicions of child abuse, but a growing number require teachers to be trained to detect child abuse and neglect as a prerequisite for receiving or renewing a teaching license.” “More states require teachers to be trained to detect child abuse”, (July,2004) Carol Chmelynski .

According “Tips and Facts”, Kempe, http://www.kempecenter.org/parents/tipsAndFacts.html
Signs of possible abuse:

  • The explanation the child gives for the injury is not believable or credible
  • Repetitive injuries without adequate explanation
  • The child changes the story of how the injury occurred
  • Significant and sudden mood change – perhaps more withdrawn, poor concentration or more aggression
  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Decrease in school performance

But the final determination of abuse/neglect will be made by a professional.

I learned that abusive behavior is often part of a family cycle, “many health and developmental problems in early childhood can lead to behavioral, educational, and psycho-emotional problems in later adolescence and adulthood, which could lead to the recurrence of abusive behavior.” A Primer in Preventing Child Abuse Study Number: 15 Cohn Donnelly, A. (1997), (An Approach to Preventing Child Abuse. Chicago, IL: Prevent Child Abuse America)

I feel that we have to foster early detection, treatment, and prevention programs to do our part to have no child abuse in the community. I believe that it is most important to have no incidents of child abuse.

Prevent Child Abuse America is committed to preventing child abuse before it occurs. Many agencies are committed to increasing public awareness of all forms of violence against children, developing activities to prevent such violence, and promoting the rights of children. Education plays a big role in abuse prevention.

It is important that community-based programs to prevent child abuse exist, that prevention and information training also exist, and that the community learns to recognize the signs of child abuse and know to whom they should report their findings.

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