Media Contact
Dan Welch
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790

March 31, 2011

National Child Abuse Prevention Month - Encouraging Colorado Dads to Join the Fight Against Child Abuse

According to state figures, there were 11,339 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect in Colorado in 2009. Every day children across Colorado suffer from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse or neglect. In support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, Colorado fathers are encouraged to join together in learning how to prevent child abuse and help those children who may already be suffering. All Coloradans, especially dads, play an important role in keeping our children safe.

“It is important that fathers have all of the resources necessary to ensure that Colorado children are growing up in healthy and safe environments,” said Dan Welch, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Healthy, nurturing fathers can provide their children with a sense of security and the opportunity to grow into mature, successful adults.”

Prevent Child Abuse America provides the following 10 ways Colorado fathers can help prevent child abuse. Go one step further in helping Colorado’s children and share these tips with other fathers you know. Find these and other valuable resources at www.kempe.org.

Be a nurturing parent.
Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams.

Help a friend, neighbor or relative.
Being a parent isn’t easy. Offer a helping hand to take care of children, so that their parent(s) can rest or spend time together.

Help yourself.
When the big and little problems of your every day life pile up to the point where you feel overwhelmed and out of control – take a time out. Don’t take it out on your kid.

If your baby cries…

It can be frustrating to hear your baby cry. Never shake a baby – shaking a child may result in severe injury or death. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is one of the leading causes of trauma death to Colorado children under the age of two. SBS can cause blindness, cerebral palsy, brain damage and even death. However, this serious syndrome can be prevented through education and the development of coping skills for dealing with a crying baby. To learn more, visit www.calmacryingbaby.com/.

Get involved.
Ask your community organizations, faith leaders, libraries and schools to develop services to meet the needs of healthy children and families.

Help develop parenting resources at your local library.

Because the information provided in Colorado libraries is free, everyone can access it. Help your community by offering child abuse prevention and parenting resource tips to your local library.

Promote programs in school.

Teaching children, parents and teachers prevention strategies can help keep children safe.

Monitor your child’s television and movie viewing.
Watching violent films and TV programs can harm young children. Kids who view violent acts are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior and movie and TV programs often depict risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking.

Volunteer at a local child abuse prevention program.

For information about volunteer opportunities, call 1.800.CHILDREN.

Report suspected abuse or neglect.

If you seriously suspect the abuse or neglect of a child, or that a child is in danger, it should be reported. To report suspected abuse or neglect:
  • Call your local law enforcement agency.
  • Call your local Child Protective Services Agency. A list of local County Department of Human Services can be found here www.cdhs.state.co.us/servicebycounty.htm.
  • Call the 24-Hour Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline to be connected with an appropriate agency. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD, is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and is staffed 24 hours a day.