Have you seen blue pinwheels around the community? Hopefully you have. Blue pinwheels in April are a way to remember the thousands of children each year that are affected by child abuse each year. Today, State Senator Shannon Jones shares some of her thoughts on this issue.
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Guest Blogger: State Senator Shannon Jones
In today’s fast-paced world it is easy to become preoccupied and oblivious to our surroundings. No matter how fast the world is moving, it’s critical we slow down and pay attention to the warning signs that a child may be in danger. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and it provides a great opportunity for all Ohioans to learn the warning signs of child abuse and what we all can do to help.
In Ohio over 30,000 children were victims of child abuse in 2011; nationally close to 700,000 children were abused that same year. Child abuse can occur in a variety of forms, including neglect and physical, emotional or sexual abuse. As a community, we must learn to recognize the warning signs associated with maltreatment to ensure no child is suffering in silence.
Some of the warning signs associated with child abuse include:
- Unexplained burns, bruises, broken bones, or other injuries
- Uneasiness around family members or other adults
- Frequent absence from school, or habitually being dropped off early and picked up late at events
- Reports of nightmares and bed-wetting
- A sudden change in appetite or mood
- A sudden refusal to change for gym or participate in physical activities
- Lack of sufficient clothing for the weather
- Has inadequate hygiene and medical care
It is important to note that the presence of a single sign does not indicate abuse; however, a pattern of concerning behavior or a combination of signs could be a call for further investigation. If you have reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed, call 855.O.H.CHILD (855.642.4453) to be linked directly with your local child welfare or law enforcement office.
We must remain vigilant and committed to ensuring all children are able to pursue a life filled with happiness and free from fear.