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May 19, 2017 - Teachers and other school professionals serve as an important
first line of defense in the battle against child abuse. In our state,
educators remain the largest professional group to report suspected child
abuse and neglect. This time of year, children eagerly prepare for summer
vacation, summer camps, trips to the pool, family vacations, and also
decreased amounts of adult supervision. Children's Advocacy CentersT of
Texas, Inc. (CACTX) encourages Texans to be active in child abuse
prevention, through personal awareness of the signs and symptoms of child
abuse, and we ask all adults to immediately report suspicions of abuse or
neglect to Child Protective Services or local law enforcement.
"Education is key to child abuse prevention. Talk to the children in your
life about body safety, appropriate boundaries, and the difference between
good secrets and bad secrets. Discuss internet safety and the dangers about
sharing too much information on social media. Open communication allows
children to feel more comfortable in asking questions and divulging
information," said Joy Rauls, Executive Director of Children's Advocacy
Centers of Texas, Inc.  "If your child is attending a summer camp, program
or summer child care, familiarize yourself with the program's policies.
Consider inquiring about the adult-to-child ratio, screening procedures for
new and existing employees and visitors, and rules about one-on-one
Be aware of the signs and symptoms of child abuse. Some children may not
exhibit changes in behavior, however common signs may include:
*        Unexplained injuries
*        Changes in behavior
*        Regression to earlier behaviors
*        Fear of going home
*        Changes in eating or sleeping habits
*        Lack of personal care or hygiene
*        Risk-taking behaviors
*        Inappropriate sexual behaviors
You can make a difference in the life of a child.  If you suspect that a
child may be the victim of abuse or neglect, please contact Child Protective
Service's Statewide Intake at (800)252-5400 or file a report at <> .  If a child is in
immediate danger, please contact 911.

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