Hospital introduces handbook and video to educate families, prevent instances of abuse
Physicians and other medical professionals at UMC Children’s Hospital continue to see an alarming number of pediatric patients who require care for abuse-related injuries. UMC alone recorded a total of seven fatalities attributed to child abuse during the first eight months of 2018, matching the figure recorded throughout the entirety of 2017 and more than doubling the number of abuse-related deaths at UMC in 2016.
UMC Children’s Hospital saw 20 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect among patients admitted to the hospital from January through August of 2018. The hospital admitted and cared for 29 victims of child abuse throughout all of 2017 and 18 victims in 2016.
“Children in our community deserve to live in a safe environment, and we cannot stand by as the death toll continues to rise,” said Dr. Jay Fisher, Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at UMC Children’s Hospital. “To help prevent these tragic injuries and deaths in our community, UMC Children’s Hospital is focused on educating parents and caregivers about the risks their children face.”
UMC Children’s Hospital recently released a Child Abuse Prevention Handbook, available online at umcsn.com/Documents/ChildAbusePreventionBooklet.pdf, which provides valuable information to help community members identify risk factors and signs of child abuse and neglect. The book also includes details about how community members can report suspected child abuse and neglect, in addition to many other helpful tools. “Among the many topics covered within the book, we included details about the importance of selecting an appropriate caregiver for your child, pointing out key behaviors typically exhibited by people who may harm children,” Dr. Fisher said.
In addition to the handbook, UMC Children’s Hospital also produced an educational video designed to raise awareness of the dangers associated with shaken baby syndrome, which can result in lifelong disabilities and death. Since introducing the video earlier this year, hundreds of families have viewed the video as part of the hospital’s new discharge process.