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April 1,  2002

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month In PA

Parents Urged To Monitor Their Children's Internet Use

(SafetyAlerts) - On behalf of Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Secretary Feather O. Houstoun today highlighted the need for parents to monitor their children's use of the Internet as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month in Pennsylvania in April.

"During April, we highlight everyone's role -- parents, doctors, government, communities and advocacy organizations -- in making sure it doesn't hurt to be a child," Secretary Houstoun said. "Recent high-profile cases of children being lured by strangers they met on the Internet has prompted us to remind parents to monitor what their kids are doing and who they are talking to through their computers as one way to prevent abuse."

DPW has a new tip sheet for parents, as well as "Internet Rules for Children," available on its website.

Tips include:
-- Set up your computer in an easily supervised area;
-- Install software designed to filter information;
-- Suggest that your child use a child-friendly search engine; and
-- Have your children teach you what they know about the Internet and
their favorite websites.

"Nothing takes the place of a parent's attention, supervision and understanding," Secretary Houstoun said.

Child Abuse Prevention Month will be kicked off in Harrisburg at a breakfast April 9 co-sponsored by DPW, Parents Anonymous, the Children's Trust Fund and the Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators Inc.

The featured speaker is Dr. Leo G. Frangipane, a Reading surgeon and host of the radio program "The Wellness Spot," who will talk about the power of prevention.

A teleconference for medical professionals will be held April 24 to stress the diagnosis and reporting of child abuse. The conference will be moderated by Dr. Cindy Christian of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and is co- sponsored by DPW, the Children's Partnership, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians.

The Children's Trust Fund and DPW are sponsoring a conference for service professionals in Camp Hill April 22-23 on developing organizations and leadership that support family systems.

In Pennsylvania, more than 22,000 reports of suspected child abuse were made in 2000, with 5,000 of the reports substantiated. Thirty-five children died as a result of abuse or neglect.

The Governor's Community Partnership for Safe Children has a free Internet-safety video, brochure and training class that offer tips to help protect children from becoming victims of cybercrime. The video can be viewed online at

Information on the brochure or training is available by calling the Children's Partnership toll-free at 1-877-R-PA-KIDS.

For more information on child abuse prevention visit the PA PowerPort at, PA Keyword: "child abuse prevention."

CONTACT: Christina Novak
Carey Maloney
(717) 787-4592.

Source: PRNewswire

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