Protect Your Children From Predators:
The Secret Password –
please pass it forward!
By: Kait King
I am very proud to introduce Ms Kait King, a true Writer Extraordinaire.
I don’t mind telling everyone that I have been Blessed every way possible, since starting that little one page gift to Google+ and all it’s users 5 years and 7 months ago, and Ms Kate King is one of those Blessings, a very large Blessing to be exact.
I met Ms King shortly after I opened our website. I can tell you what I remember from back then: Ms King was a very good writer, and well educated. But I was glad that I wasn’t standing in front of her, because I was humbled to tears. This very special Lady was as good a Parent and Mother, as any that has ever walked this earth… and I stand by my words today. There was only one thing that struck me as odd, she was working on a project with the name of “The 3 Pigs”.
You can continue to read the whole original story on Ms Kait King’s site, The Writer’s Blogk, by selecting the link immediately following this short excerpt. . Thank You all for reading, and when you are finished reading this unforgetable story, please do as Ms King wishes: Please Pass It On!
A copy of a letter I sent to all of the primary schools to save children – simple and super effective! Please pass it on
My son is 29 years old now and it has always amazed me at how many parents through those many years, and even now, who have no idea about the concept of the Secret Password.
I used to work as a National Intelligence Support Officer for the police.
It may seem odd to baby-proof your home when your infant can’t even roll over yet, but you may be surprised at how soon he’ll be getting around and getting into things. So it’s never too soon. Take the time to baby-proof when your little one is still brand new or even before he arrives.
Tie It Down
Time to secure your TVs and furniture — just in case. Use furniture straps to hold TVs, bookshelves, dressers, and other heavy furniture in place in any rooms where your child might be left alone, even for a minute. Don’t put a TV on top of a dresser — the drawers can be used for climbing. Put corner or edge bumpers on any furniture with sharp edges.
You might not see your toilet as a hazard, but the water in it, and the toilet lid, can be a danger for a curious child. So prevent any problems: Remember to always keep toilet lids down and secured with a lid lock.
Control Your Cords
Use cord holders to keep longer cords fastened against walls. That way, your little one can’t tug on a tangle of computer cords and other electrical wiring. That could keep your baby safe from electrical hazards or heavy equipment that falls after a couple of tiny tugs.
Give Baby a Safe Night’s Sleep
Make sure your baby’s crib has fixed rails. Or if you must use an older crib, don’t use the drop-side rail, or get an immobilizer for it. (Cribs with drop-side rails are banned.) Test the crib to make sure your baby can’t fit his head between the slats. If you can slide a soda can between the slats, they’re too wide. Always keep soft items like blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, and bumpers out of your baby’s sleep space.
Manage Your Medication
Store all medicines in a high, locked cabinet. Never take medicine out of its original childproof container. Try not to take medicine in front of your child or he may want to imitate you. Never call medicine “candy.” And don’t flush old pills down the toilet. Get rid of them through your local drug take-back program, or put them in a sealed bag with something your child won’t want to eat — like kitty litter or coffee grounds — and throw it in the trash.
Tie all blind cords high out of reach, or cut the ends and attach breakaway safety tassels. Never put a crib or child’s bed near window blinds or drapes. Those dangling cords can be a choking risk.
Put outlet covers on all exposed electrical sockets to keep your little one from getting an electric shock. Some small outlet covers can be a choking hazard if a baby or toddler pries them out of the wall. Look for “childproof” covers that require two hands to remove or cover plates that screw on. For double protection, place large furniture in front of outlets.
When It’s Time for a Change
You’ll probably be surprised at how fast your baby learns to roll over — and the changing table becomes a falling hazard. Be sure your changing table has safety straps and always buckle up when diapering your child. Don’t ever leave baby alone on the table. Plan ahead and have all the items you need — diapers, wipes, baby cream, nail clippers, and a small toy — handy before you start to change the baby.
Lock It Up
Protect curious kids from household cleaners and other chemicals by storing those items in locked cabinets or installing safety latches that lock when you close the cabinet door. Do the same for any low cupboards that contain risky items like small appliances. For added safety, store hazardous items up high and far away from small fingers.
Safety in the Car
Keep your baby safe in your car, too — in a rear-facing car seat until he’s 2. Don’t use a car seat if you don’t know its history. It may have been involved in a car crash or it may be past its expiration date. Avoid a used car seat that looks damaged or is missing parts or the instructions. Avoid recalled models, too. You can find out more about car seat safety from the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (http://www.safercar.gov).
Make tub time fun, but safe, for your little one. Prevent scalding by adjusting your hot water heater so that the water is no hotter than 120 degrees. Install no-slip strips on the bottom of your tub and a soft cover on the faucet to protect tender heads. Most important, never leave your baby or toddler alone in the tub, even for a moment.
Limit Baby’s Movement
If there are some rooms you don’t want to baby proof, use baby gates to keep your little one from getting into them. Also install gates at the top and bottom of the stairs beforeyour baby gets mobile. Don’t use accordion-style gates, which could trap the baby’s head. Look for gates that attach securely to the wall but won’t pinch small fingers.
Prevent Window Falls
Place your child’s crib and other furniture away from windows. Don’t rely on standard window screens — they’re meant to keep insects out, not children in. Instead, install childproof screens, or even better, window guards, which are proven to prevent falls.
Around Pools and Water Features
Take steps to safeguard areas around pools, hot tubs, and other home features with standing water, like fish tanks and ponds. Backyard pools should be completely surrounded by a 4-foot fence, preferably with a self-latching gate. Pool covers and alarms may provide additional protection. Don’t leave toys floating in pools. And just like in the tub, never take your eyes off a child near water.
Practice Toy Safety
Baby toys should be safe for babies. Your child’s toys should be much larger than his mouth, to prevent choking. Check that all the parts attached to a toy — like doll eyes or teddy bear bows — are securely fastened and can’t be torn off. Remove mobiles attached to a crib as soon as your baby can push up on his hands and knees.
You may leave appliances such as the toaster, coffee maker, or paper shredder plugged in for convenience. But some appliances can harm your child if she turns them on, pulls them down on her, or gets tangled in a cord. Unplug them when you’re not using them and put them away, out of reach, if you can.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential to your family’s safety. Install a smoke alarm outside every bedroom or sleeping area, and make sure there’s at least one on every floor. Don’t put smoke detectors near the kitchen or bathroom — these areas can trigger false alarms that may leave you inclined to ignore them. Check the batteries every month.
Choose a Safer Toy Box
Choose a toy box with a safe design. Avoid containers with hinged lids that slam down. You want one with a light, removable lid or one that slides. If yours has a hinged top, make sure it has a lid support that can prop the lid open. Pick a toy box with ventilation holes or a gap beneath the lid — in case a kid climbs in.
Get Your Child’s Point of View
The best way to baby proof is to see things the way your baby does. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. What’s at baby’s eye level and within easy reach? Kids can be curious about anything they see, like computer cords and glassware on low shelves. You might not notice breakable or hazardous items when you’re towering above them.
Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 27, 2019
The Good, the Bad and the Puzzling in
Child Maltreatment Counts
Each year, the Oklahoma agency that tracks and investigates abuse and neglect of children issues a detailed statistical report.
Buried in all of the numbers is what appears to be a hopeful trend.
During the past six years, the number of child abuse cases – the most severe form of child maltreatment – has plummeted by more than 50 percent, to 1,407 last year.
At the same time, another measure of how Oklahoma treats its children has risen to alarming levels. During the same period, the number of substantiated cases of child neglect has tripled, to 13,394. That drove an overall 18% increase in the number of cases of abuse, neglect or both since fiscal year 2012, a data analysis by Oklahoma Watch found.
But why would neglect soar and abuse plummet?
Human Services Department officials say they don’t know why, except mainly to suggest that when it comes to child neglect, citizens and professionals who deal with children have become better educated about recognizing the problem, which is defined more broadly than abuse, and are more inclined to report suspected cases.
No one at DHS or among child advocacy groups seems to be celebrating. Some advocates question whether the statistics are accurate and, as they did at a recent legislative hearing, continue to push for more funding to prevent and respond to both abuse and neglect.
“Why overall it (abuse) keeps going down, I don’t know,” said Debi Knecht, DHS deputy director of child welfare programs. “I would like to think society just evolves and stops abusing kids, but I don’t know why that is just in one particular area.”
Among the thousands of substantiated cases of abuse and neglect each year, a large majority involve only neglect. In fiscal 2018, neglect cases made up 86% of the total 15,591 cases, compared with 9% for abuse and 7% for both abuse and neglect.
The most common types of abuse are a threat of harm, such as a child who is in danger of abuse because of their proximity to physical violence; beating or hitting by hand, and beating or hitting with an instrument.
The most common types of neglect are threat of harm, which is when a child faces a direct threat from their environment, such as a home where drug use is present; exposure to domestic violence, and failure to protect a child.
Knecht credits most of the increase in cases of child neglect to statewide efforts to teach law enforcement, teachers and others who work with kids how to recognize and report the problem. Education drives up the number of reports that come into the agency, which leads to more substantiated reports, she said.
Knecht said the opioid epidemic and popularity of methamphetamine have also contributed to growing reports of neglect that involve substance abuse.
Knecht said the increase in neglect cases also could mean the agency is taking action earlier and thus preventing physical abuse. Another contributing factor could be a cultural shift that has caused fewer parents to spank their children, she said.
But Knecht acknowledged it is difficult on the surface to reconcile the divergent trends. An increase in reporting would more likely point to an increase in substantiated abuse, not a decrease, as it did with neglect cases, she said.
Child advocates question the accuracy of the data, saying the number of child abuse cases they see has remained steady or even increased over the past several years.
Dr. Ryan Brown, a child-abuse pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, said he has seen more cases of child abuse in recent years, not fewer.
“No matter what the DHS numbers say, those physical abuse numbers are not going down,” Brown said.
National reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also show an increase in children suffering from abuse and neglect combined.
Mary Abbott Children’s House conducts forensic interviews of children ages 3 to 18 for criminal investigations in Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties and surrounding areas. Interviewer Christi Cornett said the organization interviews around 480 children per year, and that number has remained steady since at least 2013.
Joe Dorman, CEO of the the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and Nellie Kelly, executive director of the Child Protection Coalition, said the reported drop in child abuse cases contradicts what they see every day.
“I want to believe we’re getting better, but I find it hard to believe,” Dorman said.
Reporting Abuse and Neglect: All Oklahomans 18 or older are required to report child abuse or neglect. Reports can be made 24 hours a day, any day, to the state Department of Human Services at 1-800-522-3511.
Child Sex Abuse victim advocates want
to know why Cuomo hasn’t signed
ALBANY, NY – Advocates for child sex abuse victims say Gov. Andrew Cuomo is dragging his feet on signing education legislation that could decrease future child sex abuse cases.
“Erin’s Law” requires at least one hour per school year to teach kids in kindergarten through eighth grade about abuse and how to report it.
A 2015 federal law championed by U.S. Senator Kirstan Gillibrand (D-NY) provides grant funding for the program.
It’s been passed in 37 states, including New York, when the bill cleared both legislative chambers on June 20.
“I don’t know what’s going on in New York. It’s frustrating because I flew to New York and testified in 2011. It’s been the most difficult state to get it passed. Now we have to wait yet another year,” Erin Merryn, an abuse survivor from Illinois, for whom the legislation is named, told The Post.
Under the law, the state Education Department would be required to devise the curriculum, but a spokesman said the department does not comment on pending legislation.
“They made me repeat first grade because of what nobody knew was going on,” Merryn added.
“You’re actually saving money by teaching this because those kids that are being abused are the kids that you’re having to pour so much more funding into.”
“It’s important that [Gov. Cuomo] does this sooner than later, even though we’ve missed this year’s deadline, this is crucial for the children of the state of New York,” she said.
“Erin’s law actually prevents child abuse in a big way,” said child sex abuse survivor Gary Greenberg, who has pushed the bill for years.
“[It] is an even more important law than the Child Victims Act because it will actually go into every public school in the state and teach kids who to report to, and about appropriate touching. As time goes on he’s signing all these bills, a lot of bills, and no Erin’s law,” he said of Gov. Cuomo.
The law would take effect on the July 1 after the bill is signed.
“We 100 percent agree with the intent of the bill and want to ensure it’s implemented correctly. The bill language remains under review by counsel’s office,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard.
The state’s office of Children and Family Services said in 2018, the statewide central register hotline received 297,233 calls related to child abuse cases resulting in 199,047 reports flagged for further action.
SBS/AHT is the leading cause of physical
Child Abuse in the U. S.
Shaken baby syndrome — also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome — is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.
Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child’s brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen. Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.
Shaken baby syndrome is preventable. Help is available for parents who are at risk of harming a child. Parents also can educate other caregivers about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.
Shaken baby syndrome symptoms and signs include:
Extreme fussiness or irritability
Difficulty staying awake
Pale or bluish skin
You may not see any signs of physical injury to the child’s outer body. Sometimes, the face is bruised. Injuries that might not be immediately seen include bleeding in the brain and eyes, spinal cord damage, and fractures of the ribs, skull, legs and other bones. Many children with shaken baby syndrome show signs and symptoms of prior child abuse.
In mild cases of shaken baby syndrome, a child may appear normal after being shaken, but over time he or she may develop health or behavioral problems.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
Seek immediate help if you suspect your child has been injured by violent shaking. Contact your child’s doctor or take your child to the nearest emergency room. Getting medical care right away may save your child’s life or prevent serious health problems.
Health care professionals are legally required to report all suspected cases of child abuse to state authorities.
Babies have weak neck muscles and often struggle to support their heavy heads. If a baby is forcefully shaken, his or her fragile brain moves back and forth inside the skull. This causes bruising, swelling and bleeding.
Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a baby or toddler due to frustration or anger — often because the child won’t stop crying.
Shaken baby syndrome isn’t usually caused by bouncing a child on your knee, minor falls or even rough play.
The following things may make parents or caregivers more likely to forcefully shake a baby and cause shaken baby syndrome:
Unrealistic expectations of babies
Young or single parenthood
Alcohol or substance abuse
Unstable family situations Depression
A history of mistreatment as a child
Also, men are more likely to cause shaken baby syndrome than are women.
Even brief shaking of an infant can cause irreversible brain damage. Many children affected by shaken baby syndrome die.
Survivors of shaken baby syndrome may require lifelong medical care for conditions such as:
Partial or total blindness
Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
New parent education classes can help parents better understand the dangers of violent shaking and may provide tips to soothe a crying baby and manage stress.
When your crying baby can’t be calmed, you may be tempted to try anything to get the tears to stop — but it’s important to always treat your child gently. Nothing justifies shaking a child.
If you’re having trouble managing your emotions or the stress of parenthood, seek help. Your child’s doctor may offer a referral to a counselor or other mental health provider.
If other people help take care of your child — whether a hired caregiver, sibling or grandparent — make sure they know the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.