Lehigh Valley, state officials express concern about child safety with schools out as abuse reports fall by half following social distancing measures

Written by on April 15, 2020

Lehigh Valley, state officials express concern about child safety with schools out as abuse reports fall by half following social distancing measures

By Jen Rehill

April 15, 2020

Reports of child abuse and neglect have fallen significantly in the Lehigh Valley and across the state but it’s not a good sign for children in a time of social distancing.

Most reports of child abuse come from so-called mandated reporters like teachers, doctors and coaches who have regular contact with children, and are legally required to notify the state about serious concerns.

But now that schools are out, fewer eyes are on children who may be at risk. In Northampton County, abuse reports have dropped by half – and that’s not good news. Officials are worried about what’s happening out of site – and kids in danger.

Reports have also dropped by 50 % across the state. That’s why Pennsylvania human services officials are asking all residents to keep watch for signs of abuse – and call the ChildLine hotline if they’re worried.

Warning signs include: numerous, unexplained injuries or bruises, chronic anxiety, flinching or avoiding being touched, or noticeable changes in a child’s weight or physical appearance that suggest issues with caretaking.

The state’s child abuse hotline – or ChildLine – is 800-932-0313. Find more information at KeepKidsSafe.Pa.gov.


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