Leaving your child home alone: How old is old enough?

Summer is half over. Are you starting to hear your kids say things like, “I’ll be fine at home, I don’t need to go to camp?” When my son was 11 years old, he wanted to spend the summer home and not at day camp. My husband and I both work, and we weren’t comfortable with the idea. We sent him to camp that summer and the summer after that too, but his request did give us food for thought. We began to consider the right age to …Click here to continue reading

Hot cars aren’t cool: Tips to keep your family safe in warm weather

This weekend’s warm weather reminded me that it’s time for a very important message: Never leave your children alone in the car.

I know why it happens. Your child is sleeping, and you don’t want to wake him or her. You’ll only be in the store a minute. But let’s be realistic. What you think will be a minute usually turns into 10 or 15 minutes. Did you know the temperature in a car can rise nearly 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes? According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Board (NHTSB), even when the temperature only is 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can get up to 110 degrees.

Follow these tips to help keep your family safe in warm summer weather: …Click here to continue reading

How child abuse changed the lives of Marge and Chip

I hear a lot of heartbreaking stories about child abuse. You might think this would make my job difficult, and sometimes it does. But people often share their stories because they’re proud of the lives they lead now and who they’ve become. They believe strongly in the important work Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin does through child abuse prevention and intervention programs.

One such couple, Marge and Chip, wanted me to share their stories with you. …Click here to continue reading

Childhood experiences shape your future

Experts say that childhood experiences shape not just the child but also the adult. Think about your own childhood. Was it happy? Did you know the adults in your life loved you? What are the things that help you know you grew up in a loving home?

Many of us think we’ve had a mostly positive childhood experience with a few dips on the experience curve. For me, those dips are mostly related to the death of my beloved pets or the first time a boy broke my heart. But for some people, those dips are significant and …Click here to continue reading

How efforts to prevent child abuse are making an impact on children and families

Back in November 2010, I wrote a blog post about home visiting and how, as a new mom back in 1995, I could have used the support of someone coming into my home to help me understand my newborn baby and my feelings of being overwhelmed. Since then, I’ve come a long way as a mom in understanding how to parent and where to go for information and support. Just as I’ve come a long way, so has the field of child abuse …Click here to continue reading

Why Penn State is a reminder that all adults have a duty to protect kids from sexual abuse

The recent situation at Penn State reinforces what we already know. Statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday. Less than 10 percent of these children will ever tell anyone what happened to them.

In the Penn State case, reports indicate that someone witnessed the abuse, yet apparently never told the police who could have investigated and taken action to prevent this from happening to other children. …Continue reading this post

Mason’s story is a story we should never forget

Babies cry. That’s a fact of life. It’s how we handle the crying that can make a difference for a baby. It could have made a difference for Mason.

  • When a caregiver feels frustrated with a baby or a child, take a break. Put the baby in a safe place like a crib or bassinet. Close the door to the room and call a friend.
  • Talk with your babysitter about how they should handle crying babies or irritating child behaviors. Give him or her permission to call you when they feel frustrated.

April 12, 2005, six years ago, Michelle Maciosek was at work when she received word that her 9-week-old son, Mason, was shaking violently. She immediately went to Children’s …Click here to continue reading

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

We know that most people understand that child abuse is critical problem on par with child poverty. The Child Abuse Prevention Fund is making a difference. By funding services like in home visits for parents interested in having support, we are able to make a significant difference in the lives of children. Throughout April, we will post information about how home visits are making a difference at facebook.com/CAPFund.  In the meantime …Click here to continue reading

Child abuse prevention program is making a difference

Do you remember when you brought your firstborn home from the hospital? I do, and 15 years later, the memories are as fresh as the hour we were discharged. One word sums up how I felt: overwhelmed. Sitting in the back seat of our car with firstborn in his infant seat, I cried and I wasn’t sure why. Even though I had a good support system – husband, mother, friends, colleagues who are nurses, our pediatrician – I still felt overwhelmed and a little helpless. What am I supposed to do with a new baby? How do I know what he wants or …Click here to continue reading

You can help prevent child abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and a time when we are helping people understand how they can prevent child abuse from occurring in the first place. But we know well that child abuse can happen at any time, to any child.

The problem of child abuse in Wisconsin is staggering. In any given year, more than 40,000 children are reported to authorities as being abused or neglected. And nearly 20 percent of those reports actually are proven. These children could fill every seat at Miller Park or populate a city the size of New Berlin or Brookfield. Most often, the abusers are people the children know, love and trust – family members, siblings, unrelated people living in the home, neighbors. And the list goes on.

…Click here to continue reading