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Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is nationally designated to acknowledge the importance of communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect as well as promote the social and emotional well-being of children. 

The pinwheel is recognized as a symbol for child abuse prevention. The pinwheel connotes playfulness, joy, and childhood. It has come to serve as a physical reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children. Pinwheels are used to help educate communities about the importance of supporting children and families. Shining in the sun, the pinwheel is reflective of the bright future all children deserve. The cyclical nature of the pinwheel depicts positive cycles of love and support we want to help families create.

A Few Facts About Child Abuse/Neglect

  •  About 1 in 7 children experienced child abuse and neglect in the last year (self-reported data, source: CDC).
  •  There are four types of child abuse and neglect: physical, emotional, sexual, neglect.
  •  Child neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment.
  •  The victimization rates for Black or African American and American Indian/Alaska Native children are about twice the rates for Hispanic and White children.
  •  Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are essential to prevent child abuse and neglect and to assure all children reach their full potential
  •  Everyone in the community has a role in strengthening families and preventing child maltreatment.

Five strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect

  •  Change social norms to support parents and positive parenting.
  •  Enhance parenting skills to promote healthy child development.
  •  Strengthen economic supports for families.
  •  Provide quality care and education early in life.
  •  Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risks.

Warning Signs of Child Abuse

  •  Unkept or malnourished appearance
  •  Abrupt changes in behaviors (eating habits, disturbed sleep, school performance, aggression)
  •  Sudden mood swings or signs of depression
  •  Wetting or soiling issues not related to potty training
  •  Recurrent or unexplained injuries or bruises
  •  Wears inappropriate clothing for weather potentially covering injuries
  •  Withdrawn from family and peers
  •  Fear of certain place or person
  •  Self harm
  •  Illnesses left untreated
  •  Lack of supervision
  •  Runs away from home

Child abuse or neglect can be reported online at or by calling DPS at 1.800.252.5400.

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