All are encouraged to wear blue that day to bring awareness to the month.
Also at 10 a.m. April 1, members of AU Health’s Pediatric Trauma and Child Protection teams, along with students from the Medical College of Georgia, will be planting a “pinwheel garden” in front of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. The pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse prevention because it represents a carefree, fun life that we want for all children.
The theme of this year’s awareness and impact campaign is “Growing a Better Tomorrow for All Children, Together.”
“Research shows that positive childhood experiences in nurturing environments provide fertile ground for physical and mental health, learning and social skills,” explained Dr. Melissa Merrick, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “By preventing child abuse and neglect, we aim to holistically improve the lives of all families and the communities they live in.”
It’s important to note that child abuse has grown during the pandemic.
“Georgia ranks fifth in the nation for the rates of child abuse, and the CSRA has some of the highest rates in the state, with some communities having child abuse rates 11 times higher than the national average,” said Children’s Trauma Program Manager Kyndra Holm. “We know that child abuse traditionally increases during national disasters and epidemics, and our experience here at Children’s during the COVID pandemic bears this out. Because April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month, we want to use this opportunity to raise awareness in our community about the risks children face in this pandemic.”
We all share a responsibility for the physical, emotional and mental well-being of children and their families. The Children’s Hospital of Georgia and Prevent Child Abuse Georgia encourage everyone in the state to strengthen families throughout April.