Child Abuse Prevention

Injury Prevention Child Abuse PreventionUPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh reminds you to choose your child’s caregiver wisely to prevent injury. Know your caregivers background. Before leaving your child with anyone, including a babysitter, family member, friend, or significant other, understand how they will be caring for and treating your child. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this person want to watch my child?
  • Will my baby be in a safe place with this person?
  • Has this person been a good caregiver to other children?
  • Does this person have a history of violence, alcohol, or substance abuse?
  • Have I had a chance to watch this person interact with my child before I leave?

Being a caregiver is hard work and at times can be overwhelming. Remember these tips when caring for your child:

  • All babies cry. Check your baby’s basic needs. Is it time to eat? Do they need a diaper change? Are there signs of sickness? If your baby is not sick or hurt, but continues to cry, it is OK to put your baby in a safe place such as a crib, or infant seat, and let them cry while you take a break or call someone for relief. It is important to stay calm and to remember that it is never OK to shake a baby. Shaking a baby can lead to serious head injury or even death.
  • Monitor your stress levels. If you find yourself becoming irritated or stressed, it is OK to take a timeout before the situation escalates. If you feel you are losing patience, call the Warmline at 800-641-4546. Family Resources, a non-profit organization that seeks to prevent child abuse by supporting families, offers the Warmline free of charge to parents who need to talk with someone about their frustrations.

If you suspect child abuse, call or text the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453. In an emergency situation, call your local police department or 9-1-1.

Learn more about Safety Initiatives and the Child Advocacy Center.