April 7, 2020; HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – Child abuse claims the lives of more than four children a day. 7-million children will be brought to the attention of Child Protective Services for child abuse this year. AdventHealth Hendersonville is participating in the Prevent Child Abuse America's Pinwheels for Prevention® event by creating a pinwheel garden on the front lawn of our main campus and other locations, including the Believe Child Advocacy Center, and this comes at a very timely moment.
The risk for child abuse incidents to increase and go unreported during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes dramatically higher. Most child abuse and neglect occurs in the home. With parents and caregivers confronted with daily, increasing financial, emotional and physical stressors due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Child Advocacy teams anticipate seeing increases in cases of abuse.
“Planning for the safety of our patients (clients) and staff are critical during this global crisis,” said Laura Phipps, PA-C with AdventHealth. “While stay at home orders and social distancing are important ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19, children being isolated from the outside world brings additional risks for child abuse and neglect.”
Phipps cares for children at the Believe Child Advocacy Center and provides forensic exams for victims of child abuse.
She goes on to share that teachers and school support staff make up the largest group of child abuse reporters, approximately one in five. With most schools across the country closed, our children are isolated from a most crucial, potentially life-saving protective factor. In addition, children are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events that disrupt their daily lives.
Similarly, pediatricians and mental health practitioners have contact with our children outside the home. It has become necessary to defer most non-essential care during this global crisis, therefore fewer opportunities to recognize suspected child abuse.
Other contacts including non-parent relatives, friends, and neighbors are having less contact with our children and fewer opportunities to spot signs of abuse and act by making a report.
Phipps points out, “Child Advocacy Centers and their partners are our community’s first responders to child abuse and neglect. Some of these services are a matter of life and death for kids.”
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse prevention. When we talk about child abuse, specifically we are speaking about Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Psychological/Emotional Abuse and Neglect.
The goal is to encourage families and communities to work together to prevent child abuse and neglect.
If you suspect a child is in danger or want to check on their safety during the pandemic social distancing, Phipps suggests using technology like Facetime or Google Hangouts to check in on them.
To report a possible case of abuse or neglect, contact your county Department of Social Services.
To learn more about the Pinwheels for Prevention program, please visit preventchildabuse.org.
For more on Believe Child Advocacy Center, please visit safelightfamily.org/child_advocacy.htm
About AdventHealth Hendersonville: Founded in 1910, AdventHealth Hendersonville, formerly Park Ridge Health, is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of our growing communities, providing high-quality, compassionate, not-for-profit care in a Christian environment.
In 1984, AdventHealth Hendersonville became a member of Adventist Health System. With a sacred mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ, AdventHealth is a connected system of care for every stage of life and health. More than 80,000 skilled and compassionate caregivers in physician practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and hospice centers provide individualized, wholistic care. A shared vision, common values, focus on whole-person health and a commitment to making communities healthier unify the system's nearly 50 hospital campuses and hundreds of care sites in diverse markets throughout almost a dozen states.
Leading the way in many medical firsts for the region, AdventHealth Hendersonville is the first hospital in Western North Carolina to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for five orthopedic specialties including Spine Surgery, Total Ankle Replacement, Total Hip Replacement, Total Knee Replacement and Total Shoulder Replacement. It is also the first to use the Mazor X™ and Navio™ Robotic Guidance Platforms. AdventHealth Hendersonville consistently earns national ranking for its commitment to patient safety, earning the overall Five-Star rating in Quality from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), seven consecutive “A” grades in Leapfrog Group’s Safety Grade survey and the 2019 Award for Excellence in Patient Safety Across the Board from Premier, Inc.
AdventHealth Hendersonville includes cardiac care and rehabilitation, emergency services, nationally awarded cancer care, state-of-the-art surgical care, full-service orthopedic care, an award-winning labor and delivery experience, and a full range of imaging services to help people across our region experience whole health. For more information about AdventHealth Hendersonville or to find a physician, please visit AdventHealthNC.com or call Call855-774-LIFE (5433).