Saturday, April 29, 2006

Child Abuse Prevention Month


The observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month is a Presidential declaration that is celebrated every year in April. It focuses on the importance of providing children with a safe and nurturing environment in which they can grow to their full potential as responsible adults and members of society.

Child Abuse Prevention Month aims to encourage everyone to play an active role in identifying and preventing all forms of child abuse. Child abuse takes many forms and is not always immediately recognized or addressed. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C.A. 510g) defines child abuse and neglect, at a minimum, as "any recent act or failure on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."

Caregivers, adults, and members of society in general have a moral obligation to protect all children from abusive experiences. Communities and schools can raise awareness through parent education programs and public education campaigns. In an emergency, call your local police department to ensure the immediate safety of an abused child.

If you have concerns that a child is being abused or neglected, contact the Child Help USA National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 422-4453.