To the Editor:
In the most recent fiscal year, 17,418 substantiated or indicated reports of child abuse and/or neglect were recorded in Ohio. This breaks down to one report every 30 minutes. Children of abuse may display unexplained injuries, behavioral or emotional changes, and difficulty in school. The most important thing to remember is that children may not show any symptoms, or may simply tell an adult they trust that abuse is occurring.
In support of National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month, the Ohio AAP is working with the Ohio Children’s Trust fund to raise awareness and educate communities and parents about efforts that can help prevent child abuse and neglect. The #InTheNext30Minutes statewide awareness campaign encourages Ohioans to reflect upon and pledge to complete one simple act of kindness that can take less than 30 minutes, but will support families and help to encourage the safe and healthy development of children.
We can prevent child abuse and neglect through simple acts. Mentoring a child, providing a meal to a family in need or volunteering at a local child abuse prevention program are ways you can help struggling families and improve the way of life in your community. Join me in spreading awareness of child abuse and neglect by committing to one simple act of kindness and sharing your experience on social media using the hashtag #InTheNext30Minutes.
For additional resources, visit www.ohioaap.org or www.next30.org
— Lori Vavul-Roediger MD, FAAP
Chair, Child Abuse and Neglect Committee, Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics and Medical Director, Department of Child Advocacy
Dayton Children’s Hospital, Dayon