Florida Department Of Health Recognizes Child Abuse Preventation Month

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Child Abuse Preventation

Florida Department of Health joins agencies and organizations around the state in recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

"Research shows that a child who has been abused or maltreated is likely to have major health effects throughout adulthood," Deputy Secretary of Health for Children's Medical Services (CMS), Joseph J. Chiaro, M.D. said. "As members of the medical community, doctors, nurses, social workers and other health care providers have an obligation to watch for signs of abuse and report them early to ensure the development of healthy adults."

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The Florida Department of Health recognizes that child abuse and maltreatment can have serious long term health implications and that prevention plays a key role in ensuring a healthy future for Florida's children. Data from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, shows that children who have been abused or neglected are more likely to have long term health problems, including a higher tendency to smoke, develop a drug addiction, become suicidal, or be diagnosed diabetes or heart disease. Medical professionals and all Floridians should help create a statewide community where children are supported, protected and can grow up healthy.

CMS Child Protection Teams are committed to the prevention of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect and provide multidisciplinary assessment services to children and families involved in child abuse and neglect investigations. Located around the state, these teams conduct medical evaluations, provide diagnosis, medical consultations, nursing assessments, forensic and specialized interviews, family psychosocial assessments, psychological evaluations, and provide a variety of child abuse and neglect training for family members and professionals.

Child Abuse Prevention Month was initially proclaimed in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan. The symbol of child abuse awareness is the blue ribbon. Originating in Virginia in 1989, a grandmother of a three-year-old boy who died from his mother's abusive boyfriend tied a blue ribbon to her van as a symbol of her personal commitment to the prevention of child abuse.

Throughout the month, child abuse prevention materials will be available at Child Protection Team offices and County Health Departments across the state.

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