DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month. As we continue to educate ourselves on how to raise awareness, Penn State Children’s Hospital is stepping in to help.
According to Penn State Health, nearly six million kids are reported for suspected child abuse in the U.S every year.
Outside of their hospital in Dauphin County, they’ve placed 462 pinwheels in their garden. Each pinwheel represents a child that has been helped there in 2020.
Child abuse continues to be a growing health concern. Penn State Health works to protect children with a team of professionals conducting research to educate the community to help keep vulnerable kids safe, while supporting them and their families.
On Friday afternoon two pediatricians, Dr. Lori Frasier and Dr. Benjamin Levi, will be going over training tools that can help detect and report child abuse.
They are expected to go over a free online training tool called iLookOut for child abuse, which uses a video based training method.
Something else the doctors are expected to discuss is how the pandemic has played a role in child abuse reporting.
Children and mandated reporters have been in isolation because of COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the PA Family Support Alliance, from July 2020 through the end of last year, the number of child abuse reports dropped by 19%. Although reports are down, child abuse is still happening — it’s just not being reported as often.
If you suspect child abuse, health experts encourage you to report it.
24-Hour Free Childline: 1-800-932-0313
Child Abuse Hotline: Offers support, referrals, and translators who speak 140 languages that can help. 1-800-422-4453 (1-800-4-A-Child)
Penn State Health also has several resources and more information on child abuse prevention and awareness online.
From FOX 43/WPMT-TV, April 9, 2021