From the daily archives: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Council     

            563 W Main Street * El Centro, Ca.92243 * (760) 353-8300 * Fax (760) 353-8380


April 18, 2012


Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor:


Forty-three percent of American parents report spanking or hitting their child within the last 12 months, 37 percent report insulting or swearing at their child, and two percent report having kicked, bit or punched their child.  In 2010, approximately 3.3 million allegations of child abuse and neglect, representing 5.9 million children, were made to child protective services agencies. Of these 1,581,882 reports were referred for investigation, as reported by 45 states.  During fiscal year 2010, an estimated 695,000 children in the 50 states were determined to be victims of abuse or neglect. In Imperial County 2010 there were a total 1,922 reports received by child protective services representing 4,938 children, 1160 reports were investigated.


The physical and emotional abuse of children yields harmful consequences for society: a growing body of evidence links child abuse and neglect with drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, youth violence, and chronic health problems. It is therefore critical to focus on preventing child abuse and neglect before it starts. That’s what April’s observance of Child Abuse Prevention month is all about.


Placing an emphasis on positive parenting is an important component to the prevention of child abuse. As a community it is essential that we support parents and families. As parents, we must strive to respect and nurture our children.


Here are a few tips on how to be the best parent you can be:

  1. Be a nurturing parent. Children need to know that they are special and loved. Educate yourself about a child’s development process so you can have reasonable expectations about what your child can do and cannot do.
  2. Help yourself. When the big and little problems of everyday life pile up to the point where you feel overwhelmed and out of control, take time out. Don’t take it out on your child. Take a deep breath, turn on some music. Know where you can turn for help when you need it.
  3. If your baby cries… It can be frustrating to hear your baby cry, especially when nothing you do seems to work. Learn what to do if you baby won’t stop crying. But, NEVER, NEVER shake a baby.
  4. Monitor your child’s television, computer and gaming stations use. Watching violent movies or playing violent video games can harm young children. Not only can it be scary, it also teaches children that aggression is a good way to handle frustration and solve problems. Remember children cannot totally understand what is real and what is not.
  5. Spend time playing with your children. Children learn through play, Play is their work! Parents are their children’s first teachers and role models. Get down on the ground and play, play, play… Don’t forget to read to them too!
  6. Report suspected child abuse or neglect. Keeping children safe is the responsibility of every adult in our community. If you have a reason to believe a child has been- or may be- harmed, call (760) 337-7750 the Imperial County Child Abuse Hotline.


April’s observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month is an opportunity to remind ourselves of our collective responsibility to prevent the abuse and neglect that robs so many of our County’s children of their childhood, their sense of security and well-being, and their future. Together, we really can make a difference.


Make sure to join us for Imperial County’s largest community awareness resource fair, the 33rd Annual Children’s Fair on April 28th, 2012 from 10:00am – 4:00pm at Bucklin Park in El Centro.


For more information about how to prevent child abuse and neglect, become involved in the 33rd Annual Children’s Fair or volunteer please contact the Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Council at (760) 353-8300.


The Child Abuse Prevention Council is a private non-profit organization providing services for families since 1978 through community awareness and parent education. The one important message the Child Abuse Prevention Council wants to relay is “it’s not easy being parent, but you are not alone!”.


Yvette M .Garcia

Yvette M. Garcia

Executive Director

Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Council

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