April 28, 2008

Warning signs:

  • Repeated injuries, or injuries in various stages of healing
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Neglected appearance or hygiene
  • Parents that are extremely strict or super-critical of the child

General risk factors:

  • History of drug or alcohol abuse within the family
  • Severe stress — economic, lifestyle, or as a result of disasters
  • Lack of a support network or isolation (e.g., single parent families, few close friends, no relatives nearby, geographic isolation, inability to or fear of interacting with neighbors)
  • Other forms of family violence within the home (spousal or partner abuse, abuse or neglect of elders) History of a parent having been abused as a child

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the child protective services or law enforcement agency in your area. Remember — reporting is not an accusation. It is a call for help. For more information, visit www.healthyarkansas.com/Oral_ Health/panda/panda_index.htm, or contact Dr. Lynn Mouden at lynn.mouden@arkansas.gov or 501-661-2595.

— Dr . Lynn Mouden

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Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. To subscribe to Carolina Public Health or to view the entire Spring 2008 issue in PDF, visit www.sph.unc.edu/cph.

Last updated August 28, 2008