Blue Ribbon Commission Recommendations
Thank you to Sacramento County Board Supervisor Phil Serna for convening a Blue Ribbon Commission to report on the disproportionate number of deaths of African American children in Sacramento County. The Commission’s goal was to formulate recommendations for the Board of Supervisor’s consideration to end this chronic tragedy.
After eighteen months of study - collecting and compiling data, interviewing community members, and conducting focus groups - the report was released and presented to the Board of Supervisors. Sheila Boxley, President and CEO of the CAP Center, presented the information on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Commission.
African American children die at a rate two times higher than children of other races in Sacramento County. For two decades, known data has been reported that African American children in Sacramento County die at disproportionally high rates when compared to children of other races. In effect, a full generation of children has grown up, or has not been able to, during that period. In 2011, County Supervisor Phil Serna created the Blue Ribbon Commission on Disproportionate African American Child Deaths (Blue Ribbon Commission), and the group accepted the charge to change that history by working for the last eighteen months to develop the recommendations contained in this report. The recommendations are a call to action, a challenge to us all, to stop looking the other way; to commit to all children with our collective resources, financial and otherwise; to do the right thing.
Representatives from the Sheriff and District Attorney’s office, a church deacon, parents, a medical doctor, the CEO of a major foundation, nonprofit leaders and many more passionate community members urged the Board of Supervisors to take action and make a commitment to prevent the senseless deaths of African American children.
The Commission developed a set of recommendations that will reduce African American child deaths by 10% to 20% over the next five years through targeting the most disproportionate causes of death for these children: third-party homicides, infant sleep-related deaths, child abuse and neglect homicides, and perinatal conditions.
Thank you to Sierra Health Foundation, First 5 Sacramento and Sacramento County for underwriting the project. Below is a copy Sheila Boxley’s presentation. Click here to read more from the Sacramento Bee.
Photo: Supervisors Phil Serna and Susan Peters
Blue Ribbon Report 2013.pdf
BOS Blue Ribbon Presentation.pdf
ABC's of Drowning Prevention
Nationally, drowning ranks second only to automobile crashes, claiming the lives of approximately 4,000 children each year and leaving another 12,000 with some form of permanent brain damage.
Drowning deaths increase up to 89% in the summer months. Help protect your children from these preventable tragedies. Learn the ABCs of drowning prevention. Your child’s life depends on it.
ABCs of Drowning Prevention
B for Barriers
C for CPR & Classes
Be a Hero for Children Everytime You Shop
Over 3,000 National Retailers
What you do in the next few moments can literally protect thousands of children from abuse, brighten their lives, and strengthen their families.
The tiny CAP Center Browser Button stands a mere 16 pixels high and only takes 15 seconds to install, yet has the power to save the lives of children for years to come.
Why Download The CAP Center Browser Button?
CDC Reports Child Abuse is Major Public Health Issue
Child Abuse Studies
CDC News: Child Abuse - $124 billion annually! Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its findings declaring child abuse as a major public health problem with a price tag of $124 billion similar to diabetes and stroke.
Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed 1,740 fatal and 579,000 nonfatal cases of child maltreatment over the course of one year. The investigators found that the lifetime cost for each victim of nonfatal child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) was $210,012. That's higher than the per-person life time cost of stroke $159,846) and similar to the per-person cost of type 2 diabetes (between $181,000 and $253,000).
"No child should ever be the victim of abuse or neglect - nor do they have to be. The human and financial costs can be be prevented through prevention of maltreatment", Lind Degutis, director of CCD's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in an agency news release.
YaleStudy, Reported by MSNBC: Nearly 4,600 U.S. children were hospitalized with broken bones, traumatic brain injury and other serious damage caused by physical abuse in 2006, according to a new report.
Babies younger than one were the most common victims, with 58 cases per 100,000 infants. That makes serious abuse a bigger threat to infant safety than SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, researchers say in the report.
"There is a national campaign to prevent SIDS," said Dr. John Leventhal of Yale University, who led the new study. "We need a national campaign related to child abuse where every parent is reminded that kids can get injured."
The new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first broad U.S. estimate of serious injuries due to child abuse.
Based on data from the 2006 Kids' Inpatient Database, the last such numbers available, Leventhal's team found that six out of every 100,000 children under 18 were hospitalized with injuries ranging from burns to wounds to brain injuries and bone fractures.
The children spent an average of one week in the hospital; 300 of them died.
The rate of abuse was highest among children under one, particularly if they were covered by Medicaid, the government's health insurance for the poor. One out of every 752 of those infants landed in the hospital due to maltreatment.
"Medicaid is just a marker of poverty, and poverty leads to stress," said Leventhal, who is the medical director of the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital Child Abuse Program.
Last year, a study from four U.S. states showed a clear spike in abusive brain injuries following the financial crash in late 2007, a finding researchers chalked up to the added pressure on parents.
In that study, too, toddlers appeared to be at higher risk. That led researchers to suggest the maltreatment might have been triggered by crying.
If a caretaker shakes a baby violently to make him or her stop crying, they can cause "shaken baby syndrome," in which the brain bumps up against the skull and starts bleeding.
Leventhal said babies may also be more vulnerable that older kids.
The researchers estimate that the hospitalizations cost about $73.8 million in 2006, although that's only a fraction of the overall cost of abuse to society.
"This is a serious problem that affects young children," said Leventhal, whose team is now examining more recent data to refine the findings. "We need to figure out a way to help parents do better."
Call to action:
Child abuse is preventable and is not acceptable. Children and future generations of children are counting on us to end this tragedy.
Please get involved and get inspired. Consider a contribution to help fund prevention programs and education. Click here to make a secure donation online.
Make a contribution to honor your child or a wonderful parent.
Make a statement and do something bold in April which is international Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Ask child abuse prevention advocates what you do to prevent child abuse.
Speak to your elected officials on behalf of children.
Oday Guerrero's Journey
Health care is one of the most important issues of today. We invite you to read this piece written by a participant in the ‘Dreaming of Healthcare” video. It was published March 31, 2013 in the Fresno Bee.
By Oday Guerrero
I consider myself an American. I've lived in California's Central Valley for most of my life. I was no different from any other kid in the small town of Fowler, where I grew up. I had the same joys and fears. Today, I have the same dreams and goals of any young person just out of college.
But the government tells me that I don't belong in the United States because neither I nor my parents have the documents to prove our dedication to this country. I'm proud of my Mexican heritage, but I've lived in the United States as long as I can remember.
Now, I don't feel like I'm either from here or from there. I'm a citizen of limbo. It's like a state of exile.
Undocumented immigrants face stress and hate that wear on us and eat away at our spirits. It's even worse in small communities like mine, where help is hard to find. Decades of fear and derision are internalized, revealed only in bursts of anger or depression.
Things started getting hard for me when I was 17. I was accepted to UC Irvine and asked my mother for my Social Security number so that I could apply for financial aid. That's when she told me about my immigration status.
I became depressed and confused. I was conflicted about my identity. I hadn't done anything wrong, and the only mistake my parents made was looking for a better life for my sister and me. In an instant, the rights and privileges that I took for granted were gone. I didn't know what to do or who to ask for help. I felt powerless.
I felt more helpless when I discovered that my longtime boyfriend, also an undocumented immigrant, had been deported. One day he was here, the next he was gone. I didn't get a chance to say good-bye. There wasn't a thing I could do about it. I fell into depression.
Through these experiences, I have developed a deeper understanding not just of the issues surrounding immigration, but the emotional toll from the hate perpetuated by the conservative mainstream. I now understand what my parents went through to provide a better life for me and my sister.
My parents had to put up with taunting. The conservative makeup of the county and the lack of support for undocumented immigrants meant they could do little more than live in the shadows.
This has spurred outrage in me that I've channeled into activism. I graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in psychology. I've strived to illuminate the struggles of undocumented immigrants.
But thousands of undocumented immigrants conceal these day-to-day stresses. It's not really a matter of shame. They stay hidden to take a break from the attacks on them. They don't believe what their critics say, but at the same time, they subconsciously absorb years of being called liars and criminals. Hearing the same messages about themselves every day, they begin to wonder if these are true after all.
Undocumented immigrants face another stigma. Too often, everyone feels that seeking professional help for mental issues is not acceptable. They toss around words like "crazy" and refuse to hear the argument that treatment benefits themselves and everyone around them.
That's why California must take a holistic approach and become more inclusive of undocumented immigrants through the current changes in health care. Physical health and productivity increase when mental health needs are addressed. Undocumented immigrants are humans after all, not aliens from outer space, and deserve a chance to survive.
In the meantime, I'll continue my advocacy for these and other issues faced by undocumented immigrants. Just as any American should.
National Certification of Parent Leaders
An exciting conference for a new National Certification of Parent Leaders is happening July 22 - 25 at the Holiday Inn, Ontario California.
National Certification benefits parents, families, communities and society by ensuring best practices in Parent Leadership, improving outcomes for families,facilitating mutually beneficial networks and more.
To learn more download the event flyer or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Certification of Parent Leaders Flyer 7 13.pdf
The ABC's of Infant Safe Sleeping
A Tragedy We Can Prevent
Every other week in Sacramento County, a baby dies while sleeping. These babies are found:
To prevent these tragic deaths, make sure your baby is safe during sleep, both day and night. Learn the ABC's of infant safe sleeping. It could save your baby's life. To view a short video click here.
The ABC's of Infant Safe Sleeping
A for Alone
B for Back
C for Crib
KEEP YOU BABY SAFE DURING SLEEP
"Remember your ABC's - make sure your baby sleeps Alone, on their Back, in a Crib or bassinet." Pediatrician
"We make sure our new baby sleeps safely, day and night, by placing her on her back in her own crib." New parent
"Putting your baby to bed on their back in a safe crib or bassinet will help everyone in the family get a healthier night's sleep." Grandparent
The ABC's of Infant Safe Sleeping.pdf