Brush Up on Oral Health: March 2018

In this issue, learn more about oral health signs of physical and sexual abuse. Also, find resources for Head Start staff to help them support families.

Preventing and Identifying Shaken Baby Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma

All programs should have a policy and procedure to identify and prevent shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma. All caregivers/teachers who are in direct contact with children, including substitute caregivers/teachers and volunteers, should receive training on preventing shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma; recognition of potential signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma; strategies for coping with a crying, fussing, or distraught child; and the development and vulnerabilities of the brain in infancy and early childhood.

Recognizing and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation

Because caregivers/teachers are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, each program should have a written policy for reporting child abuse and neglect. The written policy should specify that in any instance where there is reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred, the individual who suspects child abuse or neglect should report directly to the child abuse reporting hotline,  child protective services, or the police, as required by state and local laws.

Child Abuse and Neglect Education

Caregivers/teachers should be educated on child abuse and neglect to establish child abuse and neglect prevention and recognition strategies for children, caregivers/teachers, and parents/guardians. The education should address physical, sexual, and psychological or emotional abuse and neglect. Caregivers/teachers are mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect. Caregivers/teachers should be trained in compliance with their state's child abuse reporting laws.

Silent Realities

Family services, parent involvement, and other social services staff may use this resource to design programs to help young children cope with traumatic events.