The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

October 25, 2009

Oklahoma ranks No. 7 in child abuse-related deaths

Oklahoma has a national ranking that should be seen as an embarrassment by everyone in the state.

According to a study by Every Child Matters Education Fund, Oklahoma is No. 7 nationally in the number of deaths related to child abuse and neglect. In 2007, the latest figures available for the study, 31 children in our state died from abuse or neglect.

We also rank No. 9 in the number of documented cases of abuse, with 13,179 in 2007.

In the years from 2001 to 2007 a total of 269 children in the state died from abuse or neglect.

The only word that comes to mind is shameful.

Stopping child abuse and neglect isn’t easy. There are laws on the books designed to protect children, but the abuse continues. It’s no different than any other crime. There are laws on the books against murder, but people still kill other people. There are laws on the books concerning stealing, but people still steal.

The question of how to prevent child abuse and neglect isn’t an easy one to answer, but state lawmakers are looking at the issue. The House Human Services Committee last week met to discuss programs for new and expectant mothers.

One lawmaker is looking at drafting legislation to create a pilot program that would require new mothers and families to meet with child welfare specialists.

In Tulsa, there already is a program in place that has shown good results. The Parent Child Center of Tulsa has a program that distributes information on the dangers of shaking a baby to new mothers at four Tulsa-area hospitals.

According to the center’s director, there has been a 59 percent decrease in the number of shaken baby cases since the program was started.

That’s an encouraging sign. Programs like that will help and should be encouraged.

There is no easy answer, there is no easy way to prevent child abuse. But we can’t just ignore the issue. We as a state need to do whatever we can, and the Legislature needs to take the lead.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg David, Goliath at it again in Gaza Strip

    Israel has long seen itself as David, standing firm against a hostile neighborhood full of Goliaths.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS must come up with future plans for NORCE, SORC facilities after they are closed

    NORCE is scheduled to close in August 2015. Currently, 15 residents remain at the facility, awaiting transfer to a private setting, and there also are 60 state employees on the NORCE payroll.

    July 24, 2014

  • Never leave a child or a pet alone in a car

    With temperatures soaring to near or above 100, parents need to know they can’t leave their children alone in a locked vehicle. In 10 minutes, a vehicle’s temperature can climb 19 degrees. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and it only takes a few minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated, according to Safe Kids USA.

    July 23, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-24-2014

    I am beginning to believe that Mellon is the poorest Treasurer we ever had. I would like to be Treasurer. Here would be my policy, and you see if it wouldn’t be the best thing for America:
    Save nothing, have nothing in there. Then Congress and the entire nation could have nothing in view only what they made themselves.
    A Candidate.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads