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Mar 10, 2014 7:59 PM by Andy Koen

Task force aims to lower abuse deaths through education

COLORADO SPRINGS - Local social workers and non-profit agencies are working to expand their public outreach in an effort to curb the number of child abuse deaths in our community.

Videos made by Memorial Hospital and the El Paso County Department of Human Services are shown to parents at all of our local hospitals to teach and remind about them of healthy strategies to cope with the stress of a crying baby.

"That's likely one of the times that it's most likely that frustration can set it and making sure that they understand that it's never ever okay to shake a crying baby," explained Karen Logan, a Child Welfare Manager with DHS. She's part of a local task force called the Not One More Child Coalition formed in 2012 to reduce child abuse deaths.

They coach parents on a four-step Crying Baby Plan which starts with the basics; seeing whether the baby is hungry or needs a diaper change.

Step two is to check to see if the child sick, try holding them, rocking in a chair or going for a walk.

If they still can't be calmed, step three says to place the baby in a crib or baby seat in a nearby room and give yourself a five to ten minute break.

Finally, step four says to call a friend or relative to ask for help.

"If you've ever been a parent of child, you know that it's hard," Logan said. "You'll never be 100 percent of the time and you're going to need some help."

Abuse deaths in the county dropped from 10 in 2011 to just three in 2012. Last year there were four child abuse deaths.

"We all have this pie in the sky idea of what parenting is going to be like until you have your first child. And so you really need to think about, these are some other things you need to consider," Logan said.

Click here watch the videos in their entirety, and to get a list of places that help with respite care for children.

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