Health & Parenting: Who's Protecting Colorado Kids?

April 2013

In this month's feature on kids' health, we showcased a number of programs that are focused on improving the physical well-being of children in our state's kids (see 5th Gear Kids, Cavity Free at 3, and the Immunize for Good campaign). We've also provided tips from local experts on addressing mental and behavioral issues. What we haven't covered yet is a subject no one ever wants to think about, especially in relation to children: intentional harm. Here, three important initiatives we came across in our research that are helping to keep Colorado's most vulnerable residents safe.

Kohl’s Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Campaign—Children’s Hospital Colorado, Kohl’s Cares, and the Kempe Children’s Center
You’ve probably heard the “never shake a baby” radio ads and thought, I’d never…. But abusive head trauma is the leading cause of fatal head injury in children under the age of two (edging out motor vehicle accidents), and it only takes one moment of frustration to do irreparable damage. Parents and caregivers can find resources at calmacryingbaby.org to make a plan to calm the baby—and themselves. 

Signs of Suicide—Denver Public Schools
In a 2011–12 survey of DPS children grades six to 12, eight percent reported attempting suicide in the past year, and 13 percent said they had seriously considered it. Signs of Suicide is a yearly program that is being implemented in DPS schools with sixth and ninth graders. The program teaches kids how to recognize warning signals in peers—which are increasingly expressed by youth via text messaging and social media—and where to go for help.

Parenting Safe Children
Parenting Safe Children is a local company that provides workshops for parents, educators, and community groups on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse. Owner and child sex abuse expert Feather Berkower (and co-author of Off Limits: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse) shared her "Body Safety Rules" as part of 5280's 2011 feature "The End of Innocence," which profiled a 2010 child sexual abuse case at a Park Hill children's center. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow copy chief Jessica Farmwald on Twitter at @JessicaKF.