Story by: Joe Hall on April 1, 2020
Families having to face financial, emotional and other stresses — combined with long periods of time isolated at home with a lack of structure during the COVID-19 pandemic — can lead to potentially dangerous situations when it comes to child abuse. According to pediatricians, including one who heads a local task force on child abuse, there are steps caregivers can take to reduce the risks.
“Research has found that when families are stressed, children are at an increased risk of being abused,” said Kelly Dauk, M.D., chair of the Norton Children’s Hospital Child Abuse Task Force and pediatrician with Norton Children’s Inpatient Care, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “Caregivers must take care of themselves physically and emotionally. During this time when in-person visits are discouraged, it’s important for caregivers to maintain connections to friends, family and others in the community, even if that’s by video or on the phone.”
(877) KY-SAFE1 (597-2331)
The National Child Abuse Hotline offers professional crisis counselors who can provide intervention, information and referrals to emergency, social services and support resources. Calls are confidential.
(800) 4-A-CHILD (422-4453)
During times of high stress, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips on how to support your family:
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Learn other prevention tips and how to identify abuse at DontHurtChildren.com.