BETHLEHEM, Pa., April 1, 2008 Americans workhard to protect their children, but child abuse and neglect remain atunacceptably high levels with nearly 900,000 U.S. youngsters hurt each year.Since many of even the best-intentioned parents don't know how to preventabuse and the conditions under which it may come about, the 125-year-oldnational children's crisis charity KidsPeace is offering free downloadableinformation packets called, "24 Ways You Can Prevent Child Abuse ... Before itStarts."
During this April's National Child Abuse Prevention Month, parents,teachers and others can go to www.kidspeace.org (click on "resources" and"brochures") and find two dozen simple yet effective tips to Make Your HomeSafe, Give Your Child Trust and Build Communication, Give Your ChildIndependence, and Give Your Child Self-Esteem.
"Most parents love their kids and want the best for them," says Dr. LorrieHenderson, acting president of KidsPeace, which helps thousands of childrenevery day at 65 centers nationwide to overcome abuse, neglect, and the otheremotional crises. "Our task now is to help adults identify and avoid the mostcommon situations in which a child may be harmed physically, sexually, oremotionally -- as well as to create the kind of positive, open communicationsthat can serve as an early line of defense when trouble looms."
Just a few of the "24 Ways You Can Prevent Child Abuse," which areexplained in more depth online, include the following:
"Even in a nation that loves its children, abuse happens far too often --about once every 30 seconds," says Dr. Herbert Mandell, medical director forKidsPeace and the KidsPeace Children's Hospital, which helps youngsters insevere crisis. "If we can avoid or better handle the situations that can leadto problems, we have a better chance of lowering the incidence of child abuse... and keeping our kids, whom we work so hard to protect, healthy and happy."
KidsPeace is a 125-year-old national children's charity dedicated tohelping America's kids avoid and overcome the kinds of crises that can strikeany child -- from traumas to neglect, depression, and the stresses of modernlife. KidsPeace helps thousands of children a day with lifesaving programs at65 centers nationally and millions more through public education and outreachefforts supported by its national spokesperson and founder of the MemoryFoundation Leeza Gibbons and child safety and self-esteem icon RETRO BILL.KidsPeace was called "the outstanding organization" of its kind by theAmerican Association of Psychiatric Services for Children and "a prototype ofwhat we need for all children everywhere" by family expert Dr. Lee Salk. Formore information, go to www.kidspeace.org .
Contact: Mark Stubis, Vice President* Establish house rules and be consistent * Interview your babysitters * Never strike in anger -- use short timeouts and try not to yell or use hurtful words * Teach your children to say "no" to anyone who asks them to do anything they feel is wrong * When you feel frustrated, angry or overwhelmed, vent your feelings positively -- away from your children. Do not stay alone with your children if you are overwhelmed. Call a friend or leave your children with someone trustworthy. * Put yourself in your child's place and ask "Is what I've said or done building my child up or putting my child down?" and "Is what I've said or done really for my needs or for the needs of my child?" * Listen to your children and be available when they have fears, worries, or other concerns