Gunfighters focus on children during April
By Connie Powers, 366th Medical Group
/ Published April 01, 2013
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- April is child abuse prevention awareness month and the month of the military child.
For the past four years Family Advocacy has planted pinwheels on the base signifying support for safe, stable, and nurturing relationships for children. Our most basic obligation is to support the healthy development of our nation's children and in so doing being stewards of the next generation and of our entire future.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes child maltreatment as a serious public health problem with extensive short and long-term health consequences.
One seminal study has delivered concrete evidence of a clear connection between unhealthy or adverse- childhood experiences and the negative health and community impacts is the Adverse Childhood Experiences study led by Dr. Robert F. Anda, and Dr. Vincent J. Felitti.
The ACE study supports the immediate physical and emotional effects of maltreatment in children who have experienced abuse and neglect. These children are at increased risk of adverse health outcomes and risky health behaviors in adolescence and adulthood.
Child maltreatment has been linked to higher rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, smoking, multiple sexual partners, suicide, and chronic disease. Stressful or traumatic childhood experiences, such as abuse, neglect, witnessing domestic violence, or growing up with alcohol or other substance abuse, mental illness, parental discord, or crime in the home are a common pathway to social, emotional, and cognitive impairments. When a child endures one adverse childhood experience, they often experience others as well.
However, child abuse and neglect are preventable, yet each year in the United States, close to one million children are confirmed victims abuse. The emotional and physical effects are detrimental to those involved, and the costs of responding to the impact of child abuse and neglect are borne by the victims, their families, and society.
But the good news is we can prevent child abuse and help ensure children have an opportunity for healthy growth and development. The CDC promotes safe, stable, and nurturing relationships for children.
These relationships can help protect children against maltreat¬ment and other adverse exposures occurring during childhood that compromise long-term health. Healthy relationships are fundamental to the development of the brain and consequently to physical, emotional, social, behavioral, and intellectual capacities.
The MHAFB Family Advocacy Program offers a comprehensive program to provide parents and the community with resources and tools to support safe as well as stable relationships for children and families.
Family Advocacy offers the New Parent Support Program where a Registered Nurse can provide a broad range of supportive services to families during pregnancy and with children up to age three. The NPSP program is a voluntary, preventive health program designed to provide education in the home on child development, parenting skills, and promoting family bonding.
MHAFB FA is adding a second nurse this spring, opening more opportunities to our new parents.
In addition to expanding home visiting services, FA will offer the following classes during the month of April.
· Survivor Speak Out Breakfast April 3, 2013.
· Family Advocacy Safety Education Seminar April 4, 2013.
· Love and Logic Parenting Classes April 1, 16, 23, and 30, 2013.
· Baby Care Basics April 10, 2013.
· New Dad's Class April 12, 2013.
· What is Good Parenting? Lunch and Learn at the Gunfighter Club April 16, 2013.
· 5K sexual assault and child abuse awareness April 19, 2013.
· Happiest Baby on the Block April 25, 2013.
If you would like more information, or to sign up for these classes, please contact FA at (208) 828-7520.