Child abuse can happen in any family and in any neighborhood. Studies have shown that child abuse crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnic heritage and religious faith. The incidence is higher, however, in families in which the parents are in their mid-20s; high school dropouts or lack a high school diploma; below the poverty level or financially stressed; stressed because of a loss of job or home; or have a history of intergenerational abuse, alcohol, or substance abuse problems, a history of depression, or spouse abuse.
Prevent Child Abuse America offers these tips for stopping child abuse:
- Try to understand your children. Learn how kids behave and what they can do at different ages. Have realistic expectations and be reasonable if children fall short.
- Keep your children healthy. Denying children food, sleep, or health care is abuse by neglect.
- Get help with alcohol or drug problems. Keep children away from anyone who abuses those substances.
- Watch your words. Angry or punishing language can leave emotional scars for a lifetime.
- Get control of yourself before disciplining a child. Set clear rules so the child knows what to expect. Avoid physical punishment.
- Take a time-out. Stop if you begin to act out frustration or other emotions physically. Find someone to talk with or watch your kids while you take a walk. Call a child abuse prevention hotline if you are worried you may hit your child.
- Make your home a violence-free zone. Turn off violent TV shows and don’t let kids stay under the same roof with an abusive adult.
- Take regular breaks from your children. This will give you a release from the stress of parenting full-time.
If you want to go the extra mile for supporting the safety of children, visit the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky site and join us for the Commit to Prevent 5K Run/Walk on April 10. UK HealthCare is a proud sponsor of this event and we hope to see you there! Also, don’t forget to wear blue April 8 to promote child abuse awareness and stop by the Pavilion A Atrium Lobby at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital at 1 p.m. for a group photo.