NCC offers suggestions to the community for Child Protection Week

 Simple support for children and parents can be the best way to prevent child abuse.

After school activities, parental education classes, mentoring programmes, andrespite care are some of the many ways to keep children safe from harm. Be avoice in support of these efforts in your community.

Discipline your children thoughtfully.

Never discipline your child when you are upset.Give yourself time to calm down. REMEMBER that discipline is a way to teach your child. Use privileges to encourage good behavior and time-outs to helpyour child regain control. Both words and actions can inflict deeply, lastingwounds. Use your actions to show children and other adults that conflicts canbe settled without hitting or yelling.

Support prevention programmes.

Too often, intervention occurs only after abuse isreported. GREATER INVESTMENTS are needed in programmes that have been proven tostop the abuse before it occurs, such as family counseling and home visits bynurses who provide assistance for newborns and their parents.

Know what child abuse is, and what the signs are.

Physical and sexual abuse clearlyconstitute maltreatment , but so does neglect, or the failure of parents orother caregivers to provide a child withmuch needed food, clothing, and care. Children can also be emotionally abusedwhen they are rejected, berated, or continuously isolated. Unexplained injuriesaren’t the only signs of abuse – depression, fear of a certain adult,difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleepingpatterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostilityare often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglectedor physically, sexually or emotionally abused.

Invest inchildren, encourage leaders in the community to be supportive of children andfamilies. Encourage neighbors, churches, workplace, the media and employers toraise awareness about child abuse.

Report abuse.

If you witness a child being armed or see evidence of abuse, or if a child tellyou about abuse, make a report to social services or the police. When talkingto a child about abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that he or she didthe right thing by telling an adult, and affirm that he or she is notresponsible for what happened. And youcan always talk to someone at the NCC about it.