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Fit and Well Idaho: April is child abuse prevention month

St. Luke’s Magic Valley says it is important to recognize the signs of child abuse
St. Luke’s Magic Valley says it is important to recognize the signs of child abuse
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 5:11 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —The month of April has been recognized as Child Abuse Prevention month since 1983.

“Child abuse is around us, we’d like to think that it’s not in our community, but really it’s everywhere that there are children,” said Kim Hartrick, a nurse practitioner at St. Luke’s CARES.

In the year 2020, 291 children throughout the Magic Valley were evaluated for child abuse at St. Luke’s CARES, which was an increase from the year before.

Child abuse can either be physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

Child abuse can also be seen as neglect.

It is important to know the signs.

“Children who are withdrawn, or have physical bruising, also kids who have poor hygiene or are acting out in some ways that aren’t typical in that age, or that are just all of a sudden acting different than what they had been previously,” said Hartrick.

All adults in the state of Idaho are considered mandatory reporters, meaning if you suspect there is something going on, you are required to report it to local law enforcement.

“There is a law that is going to protect you, so if you are worried that you are making a false report or something like that, if you are doing it out of a caring place, you are protected by law,” said Sylvia Renova-Gaxiola.

They remind us that most children are very resilient, and often need someone they can trust in their lives.

“If a kid is one way and then all the sudden they change, then that is the time to have a conversation with them and get down to their level and say, is everything okay, has anything happened, has someone done something that is not okay,” said Renova-Gaxiola.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. For Child Abuse Awareness we have placed blue pinwheels in front of all three of our Fire Stations. Blue pinwheels represent innocence and is the national symbol for child abuse prevention. They reflect the bright future children deserve and serve as an emblem of the effect we can have when we work together to prevent child abuse. 💙 #ChildAbusePreventionMonth #greatchildhoods #goblue4idahokids

Posted by Twin Falls Fire Department on Friday, April 2, 2021

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