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Preventing Cases Of Child Abuse



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Three cases of child abuse have turned up recently in the area.

According to the National Children's Alliance, in 2011, it's estimated than around 1,570 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States. Fifteen percent of those children suffered physical abuse.
An expert at Avera Children's Hospital says this doesn't have to happen. These cases are 100 percent preventable.

Clinical Nurse Educator at Avera Children's Hospital Amanda Allison said, "It only takes five seconds of shaking a child to cause life changing injuries, potentially resulting in death."

Allison says it can happen to anyone. Anyone can be a victim of child abuse and anyone can commit the crime.

Allison said, "It's 'I lost my temper. I lost my cool. I hadn't slept, hadn't been eating right. I have a new baby or whatever at home and I just couldn't take it. I just had a quick second where I lost my temper.'"

She says these types of situations happen more often than people think. Not all cases that are reported are necessarily those who need to be hospitalized.

"We only hear on the news about those cases that are very, very bad that have very unfortunate outcomes but it happens a lot more than people recognize," said Allison.

But Allison says they don't have to happen. A child often cries for no reason at all. She says sometimes it's okay to let them cry.

"It's okay to put them down if you need to. If you feel like you're getting to that point where I feel like I'm starting to lose my patience or lose my cool. Place your child in a safe place, put them in a crib, leave them be for a few minutes. Walk away. Get a breath of fresh air," said Allison.

When it becomes too much to handle, Allison says all parents or daycare providers need is a plan.

Allison said, "You have to be very well aware of yourself. And what you need to function at a safe level."
    
Something as simple as a little breather, can make a big difference when it comes to the safety of a child.

Studies show that children cry the most during the late afternoon to early evening. Allison says a child is at it's peak for crying at two months old.The crying should taper off at three to five months old.

Allison says as far as leaving your child with a daycare provider, there's no better testament than referrals. She says make sure your provider is licensed and has the proper training. Allison also says it's not a bad idea to make unannounced visits to see how your child is being taken care of when you're not around.
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