Thursday, April 2, 2015

National Child Abuse Prevention Month


April always brings an array of different things & activities, but one of my favorites is one that relates to the field of child development.  April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  In Oklahoma, one baby dies EVERY DAY due to hunger, abuse, or neglect.  Nationally, according to American Society for the Positive Care of Childreneach year there are 679,000 victims of abuse & neglect (that is a rate of 9.1 victims per 1,000 children in the United States).  Also, almost 70% that are victims of child abuse are under the age of four years old.  With those crazy statistics, it is easy to see why there is a month that recognizes the need for awareness of child abuse & neglect in our country.  

The theme of this year's National Child Abuse Prevention Month is "Making Meaningful Connections."  According to the U.S. Department of Human Services, when we make meaningful connections with children, youth, & families in our communities, we can help parents build the knowledge & skills & access the resources necessary to raise happy & healthy children.  

Check to see if your state has a list of activities that they are participating in to promote Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Oklahoma's list is here.  Some things Oklahoma is participating in includes:

Blue Ribbon Trees/Pinwheels:  The blue ribbon is the international sign for child abuse prevention & serves as a constant reminder that ALL of us have a responsibility in helping to protect children.

^at UCO

^at Infant Crisis Services

^at Parent Promise

2015 Coloring Challenge:  Participants are encouraged to create a picture of their happiest day or simply a "Happy Day Picture."  I absolutely love this idea because it allows children to get involved in the awareness as well.  On Facebook, "like" the Oklahoma Child Abuse Prevention page & on Instagram & Twitter, use the tag #pictureabrighterfuture ... or you can email your picture to sheriet@health.ok.gov (email picture as a jpg).  The goal is to have 1,000 coloring pictures uploaded by CAP Day on April 14, 2015!  Get your color sheet template here.



CAP Day:  It's April 14, 2015 at the Oklahoma State Capitol (Check to see if your state is participating in something like this).  CAP Day is Child Abuse Prevention Day & there is also a mini conference as well!  For more information check out here.



Finally, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (& my school, the University of Central Oklahoma) is participating in the Week of the Young Child which is April 12-18, 2015.  Week of the Young Child celebrates the youngest learners with activities throughout the week.  For a complete list of the activities, check out here.



With all of these events & activities, I hope you will choose to participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month.  It is so important for the sake of our children's & society's future.  Find a way to make people aware!




*As Oklahomans (& many other states), we are all mandated child abuse & neglect reporters.  If you suspect or know of a child abuse or neglect case, do not hesitate to call 1-800-522-3511 or 911.

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