Never shake a baby.
Also, do not slap or hit a child of any age on the face or head. A child's
brain is very delicate. Shaking, slapping, or hitting a child can cause serious
harm, even though it may not leave any obvious sign of injury.
Learn about normal child development and behavior so that your
expectations of your children are realistic. For example, learn some safe
ways to calm a crying child. Many quality parenting
courses are available that can help you learn how to effectively manage the
demands and responsibilities of caring for children. All parents and caregivers
need to know how to react effectively to difficult behavior without resorting
to violence or
corporal punishment. These classes are especially
valuable if you have a history of being abused. Talk to your doctor or call
your local hospital to find classes in your community.
Screen your potential
child care providers to learn about their child care skills and abilities.
Get a police background check on a
prospective child care provider.
Choose a child care center that
has a good reputation and that is licensed in your state.
your child's caregiver without warning to get an idea of what kind of care is
given when an observation is not expected.
Seek financial assistance and support for child care if needed.
This is especially important for young or single mothers. Contact your doctor
or local hospital for community groups that can help you.
break when you are feeling overwhelmed. Ask a friend, relative, or neighbor if
they would be willing to help. Also, find out if your community offers respite
care services, which provide occasional care for a family member. Have a list
ready with names and numbers that you can call. Try planning ahead, such as
scheduling this care on a weekly basis.
Be an advocate for
inexperienced and overwhelmed parents. Child abuse becomes less likely if
parents or caregivers feel supported. Little things can help, such as offering
to bring dinner for overtired parents when you see a need. On a larger scale,
you may encourage community leaders to offer parenting classes. Also, support
individuals or groups that help parents who are at risk of abusing their