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News | April 16, 2019

Child Abuse Prevention Month—Keep our Children Safe

By Katie Campbell, Family Advocacy Program Intern, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna

Residents of Central Pennsylvania were recently stunned by a report of the death of a two-month-old baby. The child allegedly died as a result of being shaken by her father. National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome reports there are approximately 1,300 cases of Abusive Head Trauma (another term for Shaken Baby Syndrome) per year. Of these cases, almost 25 percent result in the death of the child.


Unfortunately, this story is not uncommonAbusive Head Trauma is the leading cause of death in cases of child abuseThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines AHT as an injury to the skull or intracranial contents of an infant or young child due to inflicted blunt impact and/or violent shakingAHT can occur when an abuser shakes, drops, throws the child or directly hits the child’s head and/or impacts the child’s head while shaking him or her.


One of the most common precursors for AHT to occur is something known as the Period of PURPLE CryingAccording to the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome, PURPLE stands for Peak of crying, Unexpected, Resists soothing, Pain-like face, Long lasting, and EveningContrary to beliefs, an increase in crying can be quite normal behavior among infants, although it can be an extremely frustrating situation for parents. Understanding this acronym and providing information on how to cope with the Period of PURPLE Crying is a very successful method of child abuse preventionThe Department of Defense has adopted the practice of educating parents on the concepts of the Period of PURPLE CryingNew parent support programs, available on most military installations, provide extensive training to parents on safe parenting practices.


Every April, Child Abuse Prevention Month is observed throughout our nationThe DLA Family Advocacy Program is commemorating the month by holding special events, educational displays and planting blue pinwheel gardens across the installationsBlue pinwheels and ribbons are the symbols for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Ann Walker, Family Advocacy Program manager at Defense Distribution Center, Susquehanna requests that if you are given a blue pinwheel or ribbon, please display it proudly this monthShe adds, “As a community, we commit ourselves to being informed, attentive, and supportive toward helping our children thrive.”


Prevention of child abuse remains everyone’s responsibilityHere are some ways you can help your community by reporting child abuseCall Emergency Services if you have knowledge that someone is in immediate danger or call your local Child Protective Services or Childhelp National Child Abuse hotline at (1-800) 422-4453 in order to report suspected cases of child abuseYour installation Family Advocacy Program is also a great resource available to provide services and support in reporting abuse or learning more about child abuse and ways you can help.