Children’s Hospital at Erlanger is honoring victims of child abuse with blue pinwheels at the Kennedy Outpatient Center during Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Every April, Children’s Hospital and other organizations across the nation install pinwheel gardens to raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse. Each pinwheel represents a child abuse case treated at Children’s Hospital in 2019. This year staff placed 459 pinwheels, 52 more than the previous year. The crammed full garden of bright blue and silver pinwheels sits at the feet of the giraffes by Kennedy Outpatient Center.
“Every pinwheel represents a child that received hope and healing at our hospital for child abuse or neglect,” said Dr. Karla Garcia, pediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. “The pinwheels also represent the message that every child deserves to be raised in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment.”
With the current stress and uncertainty around COVID-19, it is expected that the number of domestic violence and child abuse cases will rise.
Dr. Garcia continued, “The challenge to protect the children of our community has never been greater. Like the recent tornado disasters in Nashville, many parents may now find themselves in an unprecedented situation with a lack of childcare, indefinite school closures, limited employment opportunities, and social isolation. Compounded with uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and frustration, the financial and emotional stress brought by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to create a dangerous environment for children. Today it’s even more important to check on those who may be suffering or are at risk for neglect or abuse.”
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, report it through the TN Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877-54- ABUSE (22873). There are additional resources available for families through organizations such as Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee.