Turning the Tide Against Child Abuse

Every year, Child Protective Services receives over 3 million reports of child abuse, and approximately 5 children lose their lives every day due to abuse or neglect.

The United States is currently dealing with an epidemic when it comes to cases of child abuse and neglect, but many Americans still remain unaware of the extent of this crisis. To make matters worse, some studies estimate that 2 out of every 3 incidents of child abuse and neglect are not even reported.

Many children are abused and neglected in trusted environments such as licensed Day Care Centers, Religious Programs for Kids, After School Programs and more. When you pay to place your child in a reputable, licensed childcare facility, you are doing so under the notion that this is a safe place. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. So you must always be aware and ask lots of questions.

Understanding the warning signs of child abuse and neglect are the best ways for all of us to help minimize this senseless epidemic.

The US Department of Health & Human Services defines Child Abuse as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” Within this broad definition, most cases of abuse can be categorized in one of four camps:

  • Neglect: Denying a child access to their most basic needs, either physical (ie: food & water), educational or emotional.
  • Physical: Physically injuring a child with an act of violence.
  • Sexual: May include indecent exposure, inappropriate or unwanted touching, and/or illicit photographic materials.
  • Emotional: Impairing the development of a child through excessive criticism, threats, rejection or personal attack.

In a vast majority of cases, close to 90% by some estimates, child abuse and neglect is perpetrated by an authority figure that the child knows well. The immediate consequences of child abuse, including physical injuries and intense mental anguish, are disturbing enough on their own.

However, the real damage of abuse often does not appear until years after the incident occurs. Individuals that experience some form of abuse or neglect as children are far more likely than their peers to struggle with substance abuse, psychological disorders, criminal behavior and serious health issues including heart disease, liver disease, obesity and cancer.

Familiarizing yourself with the signs of child abuse is one of the best tools at your disposal to help end this epidemic. You can view a checklist of warning signs here, and learn more about the proper way to report incidents of child abuse here.

If a loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect from a trusted establishment, contact The Yost Legal Group today for a free confidential consultation. We’re here to help you through this difficult time.

If we take your case it will be on a no fee or expense basis unless you recover.

Call The Yost Legal Group today and speak to an attorney for a free initial consultation about your case at 1-800-YOST-LAW (1-800-967-8529).

The Yost Legal Group, Helping Fight Clergy Abuse & Other Abuses Against Children.

LEAD PAINT: The Hidden Threat to America’s Cities

In 2013, the Center for Disease Control estimated that over 500,000 American children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old faced the severe medical dangers associated with lead poisoning. Despite the fact that federal law banned the use of lead-based paints in 1978, the lingering effects of this underrepresented health crisis are still prevalent today in many of America’s inner city neighborhoods.

Knowing the facts about lead paint can help you keep your children and loved ones safe from this public health hazard.

Research released by Colombia University’s David Rosner and CUNY’s Gerald Markowitz in their 2013 book Lead Wars estimates that some 30 million American homes still contain toxic lead-based paint. Homes built prior to 1978 pose the highest risk of containing lead paint. But even newer homes could contain undercoats of lead-based paint that remain a health threat years or even decades after their installation.

Children can become exposed to unsafe levels of lead after walls containing lead-based paint are damaged through normal wear and tear, renovation, leaks, sanding, and even drilling or nailing.

Possible signs of lead poisoning in children are:

  • Tiredness or loss of energy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability or crankiness
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Reduced attention span
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constipation
  • Aches or pains in stomach

Before you begin any type of home renovation, be sure to contact your landlord, real estate agent or contractor to ensure that you take the necessary precautions. Even as walls containing lead-based paint are being removed, clouds of lead flakes can remain behind on floors, carpets, or window sills. In fact, Rosner and Markowitz’s maintain that many children are often exposed to lead poisoning during the removal process itself.

One study conducted in the 1990s by an affiliate research institution of Johns Hopkins University found that Baltimore city had the highest lead poisoning rates for children in the country. Baltimore residents should consult their medical professional as well as the Center for Disease Control’s Lead Prevention Program for advice and steps to take.

If you feel you or your child has been exposed to unsafe levels of lead due to negligence or poor building upkeep, contact The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529). The Yost Legal Group is experienced in aggressively litigating lead paint exposure claims.

The Yost Legal Group has successfully protected the rights of many families exposed to this serious health risk. If you feel you are at risk, don’t hesitate to call today for a free consultation.