Child Abuse Prevention Article Series

Child Abuse Prevention Series:

Child Abuse Prevention Tips

Tips for helping other parents in the community and vulnerable children in being mindful and examining the way you discipline your children.

Father comforting baby

  • Volunteer your time. Get involved with other parents in your community. Help vulnerable children and their families.
  • Discipline your children thoughtfully. Never discipline your child when you are upset. Give yourself time to calm down.
  • Examine your behavior. Abuse is not just physical. Both words and actions can inflict deep, lasting wounds.
  • Educate yourself and others. Simple support for children and parents can be the best way to prevent child abuse. After-school activities, parent education classes and mentoring programs are some of the many ways to keep children safe from harm.
  • Teach children their rights. When children are taught they are special and have the right to be safe, they are less likely to think abuse is their fault, and more likely to report an offender.
  • Support prevention programs. Too often, intervention occurs only after abuse is reported. Greater investments are needed in programs that have been proven to stop the abuse before it occurs – such as family counseling.
  • Know what child abuse is. Physical and sexual abuse clearly constitute maltreatment, but so do neglect, failure of parents or other caregivers to provide a child with needed food, clothing, and care. Children can also be emotionally abused when they are rejected, berated, or continuously isolated.
  •  Know the signs. Unexplained injuries aren’t the only signs of abuse. Depression, fear of a certain adult, difficultly trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility are often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.
  • Report abuse. If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to your state’s child protective services department or local police.
  • Invest in kids. Encourage leaders in the community to be supportive of children and families.

Tips to Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome

How to keep calm and keep your baby safe.

  • REMEMBER THE 10- FOOT RULE: When you are very frustrated or angry, make sure the baby is in a safe place and then stay 10 feet away from the baby until you have calmed down.
  • I-AM-A-GOOD- PARENT-LIST: Write down at least 3 reasons why you are a good parent. Put the list up where you can see it and refer to it on those days when you are pulling your hair out.
  • SING AWAY THE STRESS: Learn to sing a lullaby. Singing a family song over and over again can calm the baby down – and you, too.
  • GRAB THE PHONE, NOT THE BABY: Have a list of 3 people you can call when the stress of parenting is getting to you. Often, a 10-minute conversation with a person who really listens can make all the difference.
  • MOVE AND BREATHE: When you are having a difficult day, exercise can really help. Wrap the baby up and go outside. Just getting out of the house for a few minutes can relieve stress.
  • REMEMBER TO LAUGH: Laughter is a great stress reliever.
  • TAKE A BREAK: Make time for yourself to do something that you enjoy. Caring for a baby is hard work. You deserve it and this daily investment will make you a better parent.
  • WHO’S WATCHING: Make sure the baby sitter you use can be trusted whether he or she is family or friend.

The Cleveland Police Foundation, in partnership with the Cleveland Division of Police and the Ohio Crime Prevention Association present these tips so citizens can help to make our community safer. 


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