Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital offers tips to help recognize and prevent child abuse
In recognition of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital is offering tips to help recognize and prevent child abuse. Alexandria “Alex” Young, M.D., a child abuse pediatrician at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, believes that anyone who interacts with children in the community should have these important tips. She said, “April is the month we recognize the importance of protecting children by highlighting ways we can help prevent child abuse and neglect.”
How prevalent is child abuse and neglect?
Nationally, neglect made up 75 percent of victims of maltreatment, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical abuse accounted for 18 percent. The highest rate of maltreatment was in children in their first year of life.
In South Carolina, neglect accounted for 60 percent of child abuse cases, while physical abuse accounted for 53 percent and sexual abuse accounted for 4 percent. The sum is greater than 100 percent because some children were victims of more than one type of maltreatment. Similar to the national statistics, the highest rate of abuse occurred during a child’s first year of life.
How can we work toward preventing child abuse?
Young recommends that we:
Consider the different developmental stages:
Consider your location:
What are possible signs of child abuse?
Signs can include, but are not limited to:
Who do I contact to report concerns for abuse or neglect?
Know your resources! Go to https://dss.sc.gov and click the link “report abuse” to receive contact information for the Department of Social Services in your respective county.
Community health care providers who may have questions regarding a medical concern for abuse, a work-up, or a referral, can call the Metropolitan Children’s Advocacy Center to speak to a Child Abuse Pediatrics medical provider at 803-898-1470.
About Alex Young, M.D.
L. Alexandria “Alex” Young, M.D., is a child abuse pediatrician with Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group. She completed her residency at the LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, and her fellowship at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia. She has an interest in community outreach as well as advocacy at the local and state level. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities with her husband and their rescue dog.
About Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital
Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is South Carolina’s first children's hospital and has more than 150,000 children’s visits each year. It offers more than 30 subspecialties to meet the unique health care needs of children and has central South Carolina's only Children’s Emergency Center. With more than 350 professionals who work exclusively with children, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital has a team of highly skilled and trained experts unmatched by any hospital in the Midlands. Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is the place to go for children's medical care, because the best care matters.