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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

The prevention of child abuse and neglect is a community responsibility. It can be a matter of life or death.

Child abuse and neglect happens wherever children are, where they live, sleep, learn or play. In 2013, close to 18,000 reports of suspected abuse were filed in Kern County. Many more cases never get reported. Tragically, during 2013, 4 Kern County children died, 5 nearly died, and 8 suffered severe injuries as a result of child abuse or neglect — 16 of these 17 children were under age 4.

Anything you do to support children and parents in your family and community helps reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Kern Cares Make A Difference is your opportunity to spread the message that we all can play a part in providing safety and support to children in our community.

Make a difference during April by making a pledge to help keep kids safe. Smile at a fussy baby in line at the grocery store. Be a friend to the kids and parents you know. Get involved. Advocate. Volunteer. Take time to be kind. Support community programs and services that work with families. One person – YOU – can make a difference in the life of a child or a family.

Please accept our invitation to attend the following important community events:

•  April 1 – Kern County Board of Supervisors Proclamation for Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.
•  April 4 – National “Wear Blue Day” for Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month
•  April 6-10 – “Week of the Young Child” activities for children, families and childcare providers hosted by Community Connection for Child Care.
•  April 8 – Kern County Victims Rights March hosted by the Kern County District Attorney’s Office at the Liberty Bell.
•  April 10 – KCNC Mandated Reporter Training hosted by the Kern County Network for Children from 9-11am in Bakersfield.
•  April 27 – National Blue Sunday Day of Prayer for child abuse victims and those who rescue
•  Flag Raising Ceremonies remembering the 4 children who died in the last year due to abuse or neglect throughout the county:
    –  April 4 at 8:30 a.m. - DHS Front parking lot - Union/California in Bakersfield.
    –  April 11 at 8:30 a.m. - County Complex, 7050 Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella.
    –  April 25 at 8:30 a.m. - Kern County Fire Station #21 - 303 N. 10th Street in Taft.


Now expectant and new parents can easily get the information they need through a free service on their cell phones: text4baby.  Text4baby is an exciting and innovative way for the millions of pregnant and new parents across the country to get the most important information they need to ensure their child’s healthy development.

Pregnant and new parents who text "BABY" (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 receive weekly text messages, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date through the baby’s first year. The messages, which have been vetted by government and nonprofit health experts like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics and March of Dimes, deal with nutrition, immunizations and birth defect prevention, among other topics.

If you’re an expectant or new parent and want to learn more, go to www.text4baby.org.  To sign up for free messaging, click on the box above or just text the word "BABY" (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 and follow the prompts. You only need to provide the baby's due date or date of birth and your zip code.

Text4baby is an educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. The is NO COST to the user, even if he/she does not have a text message plan. If the user does have a text plan, text4baby will not deduct from the total texts available.






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