Keeping Children Safe
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes the financial, emotional and other stresses that parents face as the number of coronavirus cases rise and many families spend long periods of time isolated at home. As we have heard from many of you and what research has found is that that when families are stressed, children are at an increased risk of being abused. To try to keep children safe, the AAP is offering advice for families about the importance of self-care for everyone in the household, including eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and maintaining social connections by phone, video, email or other ways. We are offering positive parenting tips on HealthyChildren.org on effective discipline as well as a PSA you can share with families. We also offer specific advice on coping with a new baby during COVID-19 and a PSA on Calming a Fussy Baby, when new parents may not have access to an extended network of friends and family for in-person support. We have encouraged the media to share this information in this press release.
Pediatricians and pediatric healthcare providers play an important role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. They can help strengthen families through the promotion of safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. In 2010, the AAP and the Council on Child Abuse and Neglect published a policy, The Pediatrician's Role in Child Maltreatment Prevention which describes how pediatricians and pediatric healthcare providers can identify family strengths, recognize risk factors, provide helpful guidance, and refer families to programs and other resources with the goal of strengthening families, preventing child maltreatment, and enhancing child development (this policy is under revision to incorporate the latest evidence and guidance). To follow are the latest guidance and resources to help pediatricians and their communities to promote safe, stable and nurturing relationships and build resilience in families to keep children safe, and in the right-hand margin are additional resources from our partners.
AAP Voices Blog
Video and PSA resources
Parent/caregiver articles – there are a number of articles on Healthy Children Web site about strategies in handling normal developmental stages of children. The following are some of the key articles: