Health & Safety

April 12, 2013

It shouldn’t hurt to be a child

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Senior Airman Camilla Griffin
355 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

ChildAbuse_pict
April is national Child Abuse Awareness Month, a time dedicated to child abuse awareness and prevention activities.

Michelle McLoughlin, 355th Fighter Wing Family Advocacy outreach manager, says that by providing access to quality childcare, affordable health services, parenting education resources, and substance abuse and mental health programs, communities can make progress toward what the month stands for.

Recent surveys show the most common type of child abuse is neglect, followed by physical abuse.

The majority of child abuse cases stem from situations and conditions that are entirely preventable in an engaged and supportive society.

“A community that cares about early childhood development, parent support and maternal mental health, for instance, is more likely to see families nurturing children who are born healthy and enter school ready to learn,” McLoughlin said. “Cities and towns that work to create good school systems and who come together to ensure that affordable housing is available in good, safe neighborhoods are less likely to see stressed, isolated families who don’t know where to turn.”

Statistics show more than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.

“We have to pay attention to the kinds of efforts that will prevent it from happening in the first place,” McLoughlin said. “It’s a shared responsibility and we’re stronger together.”

The Family Advocacy team is hosting several information driven activities in support of CAAM. “Pinwheels for Prevention” will be placed in various family-friendly locations around base as a reminder for families. Child abuse prevention tips will be briefed at commander’s calls through out the month. There is an information table set up in the pediatric clinic located at the 355th Medical Group. There will be manned information tables in collaboration with Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at the Base Exchange 11 A.M. to 1 p.m. April 8, 355th MDG 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22, and at the Benko Fitness Center 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29, Presentation at the Youth Center for teens about ways to stay safe will be 4:45 p.m. and 5 p.m., April 10.

Call Davis Monthan Family Advocacy at 228-2104 to find out more about child abuse prevention in your community.




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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