First Year of Life Poses Highest Risk for Child Abuse


The risk of serious physical abuse is highest among infants under the age of 1, a new study shows.

Researchers looked at nearly 15,000 children younger than 16 who were treated for severe injuries at hospitals in England and Wales between 2004 and 2013. Of those injuries, 92 percent were accidental, 2.5 percent were the result of fights and 5 percent were caused by abuse.

Among children with abuse-related injuries, 98 percent were younger than 5, and 76 percent were less than a year old. Abuse-related injuries were more severe and more likely to involve the head/brain than accidental injuries.

Abused children were also three times more likely to die of their injuries than other children in the study, 7.6 percent vs. 2.6 percent.

Boys accounted for 59 percent of abuse victims and 89 percent of those treated for injuries caused by fights or accidents, according to the study published online Nov. 23 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

While young children accounted for the vast majority of abuse victims in this study, it doesn’t meant that older children don’t suffer abuse, noted the researchers led by Dr. Ffion Davies, an emergency medicine consultant from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in England.

“It may simply be that the more robust physique of an older child means that major trauma is more difficult to inflict,” the researchers suggested.

Source: HealthDay News

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Welcome to OHS Health Talks


A Health Talk is a pre-recorded video or podcast that allows health managers to explore deeper into specific health topics.The Health Talks include two series:

  • Health Chats: Listen, as new tools and strategies are discussed to improve health outcomes for children.
  • Ask the Experts: Get answers to frequently asked questions from pediatricians, dentists, psychologists, and other health professionals.

Health Talks offer an easy way to learn more about some of the health issues that concern the early childhood community. Health professionals, technical assistance providers, and other early childhood health and safety staff share information on a variety of topics. The topics are chosen based on questions and suggestions submitted from the field. Send your suggestions for the next Ask the Expert or Health Chat presentations to

What is a Health Chat

  • Digging Deeper into Safety and Injury Prevention Data
  • Using Stepping Stones and Compliance with Care to Support Infants and Toddlers
  • Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Ask the Expert

  • What is Ask the Expert
  • Head Lice
  • Head Start and the Medical Home
  • Nurturing Health and Wellness in Early Childhood: Nurturing the Brain, the Environment, and the Nurturer

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, National Center on Health

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Why Child Abuse Prevention Month Matters


Some observances are ones you wish you did not have to mark. With some 686,000 children victimized annually by physical, mental, or sexual abuse, National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April is one of those observances.  If there is good news here, it is that reports of child abuse have been declining slightly over recent years.

Congress first drew national attention to the pervasive issue of child maltreatment in 1982 by declaring June 6-12 to be Child Abuse Prevention Week. President Reagan expanded the initiative by declaring the entire month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This tradition carries on as various communities mark 2014’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month with demonstrations such as employees at a children’s hospital in Colorado lining up to form a giant blue ribbon to honor children in Colorado who have died from child abuse and neglect, or individuals planting blue pinwheels in parks or on the grounds of legislatures to bring community awareness to the issue of child maltreatment.

Source: Child Trends

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The Spectrum of Neglect: Four Types of Unresponsive Care


Using science as a guide, this interactive chart delineates four types of diminished responsiveness and their consquences in order to provide a useful framework for developing more effective strategies to protect vulnerable children from this complex challenge. The four short video clips below, each under a minute in length, are excerpts from the 6-minute video InBrief: The Science of Neglect. The chart is based on a graphic from The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain, a Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

Source: Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University

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Positive Parenting: Coaching Families and Modeling Positive Parenting in the Medical Home

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST

A nurturing relationship between a parent and child is an important buffer against toxic stress related to  exposure to violence. Health care providers can encourage positive parenting skills that foster nurturing relationships.  This webinar will enable listeners to identify parenting practices that can build resilience in children exposed to violence, identify ways to model positive parenting practices in the medical home, and provide specific and practice guidance on parenting to families in the medical home setting.With support from the Department of Justice, The AAP Medical Home for Children Exposed to Violence is proud to present Kimberly Randell, MD, MSc, FAAP and Lisa Spector, MD, FAAP. Dr. Randell is a past co-chair and current member of Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Council on Violence Prevention and co-chairs the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Work Group. Dr. Spector is the Medical Director of the Safe and Healthy Families (SAHF) Trauma Prevention and Treatment Program and Medical Director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Source: Medical Home for Children Exposed to Violence

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Addressing the Needs of Young Children in Child Welfare: Part C—Early Intervention Services


This bulletin provides an overview of the Part C referral provisions in the 2003 reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) and describes the intersection of child welfare services and early intervention with young children. It highlights the benefits of Part C for child welfare and outlines how child welfare professionals can support Part C efforts. It also describes implementation challenges and provides promising strategies for implementing Part C provisions, including examples from the field.

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

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Changing the Course for Infants and Toddlers: A Survey of State Child Welfare Policies and Initiatives


This report by ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends presents findings from a 2013 survey of state child welfare agencies about the policies and practices that guide their work in addressing the needs of infants and toddlers who have been maltreated. It sets the stage for understanding how states are currently supporting young children and where opportunities exist to expand supports.


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Mikulski, Burr, Harkin, Alexander Introduce Bipartisan Reauthorization of Child Care and Development Block Grant to Help American Families Access Safe, Affordable, Quality Child Care


U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, was joined today by Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the HELP Committee, and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee, to announce that they have introduced the bipartisan Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2013, which reauthorizes and updates the CCDBG program. This program helps low and moderate income parents access and afford child care while they work or attend school.

“Every working parent with children, no matter their income level, worries about child care,” Senator Mikulski said. “What’s affordable? What’s accessible? Will my child be safe? Where can I get the very best care for my kid? The CCDBG program is supposed to give parents peace of mind. And for many families over many years, it has. But we can and should be doing more to improve child care for children, parents, and providers alike. It is long past time to revitalize, refresh and reform this vitally important program.”

“When parents leave their children in the care of someone else, they want to know their children are in a safe place with qualified providers. The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is an important federal program to ensure that low-income parents have access to child care so that they can work. Since its creation, the CCDBG program has experienced many  positive developments that have boosted the quality of federally-subsidized child care,” said Senator Burr. “Tragically, incidents of child abuse and endangerment have occurred in these day care facilities, and it’s time Congress acts to assure parents and taxpayers that these children are in a safe place. The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013 is bipartisan, commonsense legislation that updates this law to reflect these realities. And most importantly, I am very pleased that this legislation includes my bill to require criminal background checks for all child care providers, an important step in protecting America’s children.”

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in this bipartisan effort to improve CCDBG. I am especially excited about the new focus on providing access to quality early childhood care and education,” said Chairman Harkin. “This is an evidence-based approach to closing the readiness gap for low-income children, giving them a fair shot at success when they enter school. We know that these are smart investments for our children, our families, and the future of our country.”

“Access to quality child care can make all the difference in a child’s early years, and this program has helped nearly 30,000 Tennessee families not only afford to enroll their children in child care, but be able to choose the type of care that’s best for their family,” Senator Alexander said.

When the CCDBG program was last reauthorized in 1996, the program rightly focused primarily on workforce aid. But in the intervening years, more has been learned about the necessity of not just providing children with a place to go, but also the importance of providing them with high-quality care. The HELP Subcommittee on Children and Families held three public hearings over the past Congress – consulting with parents, childcare providers and early learning and developmental experts and other child care advocacy organizations – to explore how best the CCDBG program could be reauthorized and improved.

The legislation introduced this week by Senators Mikulski, Burr, Harkin and Alexander incorporates feedback and suggestions provided to the Committee over the past year. The bill requires states to devote more of their funding to quality initiatives, such as: training, professional development, and professional advancement of the child care workforce. The bill ensures that CCDBG providers meet certain health and safety requirements, related to prevention and control of infectious diseases, first aid and CPR, child abuse prevention, administration of medication, prevention of and response to emergencies due to food allergies, prevention of sudden infant death syndrome and shaken baby syndrome, building and physical premises safety, and emergency response planning. The legislation gives families more stability in the CCDBG program and works to improve early childhood care by requiring states to focus on infant and toddler quality initiatives. Finally, the bill requires mandatory background checks for child care providers in the CCDBG program.

Source: The Official Website of Senator Barbara Mikulski

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SafeCare® is a home visiting program for parents of children ages 0-5 years who are at risk for child maltreatment or have been reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) for child maltreatment. The program aims to reduce subsequent child maltreatment by educating parents on home safety and organization skills, child health and nutrition management, and parent-child interaction skills. SafeCare uses trained home visitors to educate parents on these components such that their skills are generalizable across settings, time, and behaviors (Lutzker and Bigelow, 2002).

Source: Promising Practices

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Out-of-Home Care

Resources and information about out-of-home care (also called foster care), including family foster care, kinship care, treatment foster care, and residential and group care. Includes information on working with children and youth in out-of-home care; working with birth families; recruiting, preparing, and supporting resource families (i.e., foster, adoptive, and kinship families); independent living services; placement decisions and stability; and systemwide issues.

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

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