prevention: angry teen with light brown hair over face, mustard yellow shirt

Prevention, Intervention Better Than Incarceration, Book Says

“Terrence was 16 when he and three other teens attempted to rob a barbeque restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida. Though they left with no money and no one was injured, Terrence was sentenced to die in prison for his involvement in that crime.” —Cara H. Drinan, “The War on Kids”

Sharp Decline in Child Deaths From Unintentional Injury, CDC Finds

Fewer children are dying from unintentional injuries, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A new Vital Signs report published by the CDC says death rates from unintentional injuries among children and adolescents from birth to age 19 declined by nearly 30 percent from 2000 to 2009, saving the lives of more than 11,000 children. “In order to keep our kids safe from injuries we need two things: safer environments and knowledgeable parents,” Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, said in a conference call with journalists. “Everyone has a role in keeping kids safe.”

More than 9,000 children in the United States died as a result of unintentional injury in 2009. The report does not include information on injuries from violence.

New Report Uncovers “Alarming” Rate of Child Hospitalization Due to Abuse

The March 2012 issue of Pediatrics will contain the first quantified findings detailing the hospitalization rates of children due to serious physical abuse in the United States. The report, released by the Yale School of Medicine, uncovered 4,569 instances of children being hospitalized due to serious abuse in 2006, with approximately 300 cases in which the children died as a result of serious injuries. According to the findings, children were at their highest likelihood for serious injury within the first 12 months of life, with a projected 58.2 per 100,000 children within the age group being hospitalized for abuse. Researchers at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital used data from the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) to estimate the number of incidences in which children younger than 18-years-old were hospitalized due to serious physical abuse in 2006. The Kids’ Inpatient Database was prepared by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, under the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Rhode Island Lands $480,000 to Fund Suicide Prevention

The Rhode Island Youth Suicide Prevention Project (RIYSPP) will receive $480,000 to implement suicide prevention programs in select community organizations and public schools throughout the state, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) announced on Thursday. Suicide is believed to be the second leading cause of death among college students and third leading cause among youth age 10 to 24, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Centers for Disease Control’s  2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. “Many young people who commit suicide have a treatable mental illness, but they don’t get the help they need,” Reed said in a press release. “This grant will provide critical resources for prevention and outreach efforts in Rhode Island to help reach at-risk youth before it is too late.”

The grant will provide the RIYSPP with necessary resources to screen, identify and refer at-risk youth, and launch a media campaign to help educate adults about warning signs and how best to respond. Currently RIYSPP operates in six communities throughout the state, but will soon provide technical assistance to the Rhode Island National Guard and state’s Veterans ‘ Administration in an effort to reach military personal and their families.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga.

Keeping Teens Summer Safe, a Resource Guide from the CDC

Extra time behind the wheel, long days at the lake and added exposure to the sun are just a few of the hazards kids and teens face as summer officially grabs hold. Unfortunately not everyone gets the summer months off. Parents are left to pick up the slack and still put in their 40 hours each week to pay the bills. So how do you keep your kids safe and the boss happy at the same time? The Centers for Disease Control has made available a wealth of resources for parents asking themselves that very question.

Grant Helps Prevent Kids From Going to Jail

The U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention offers the Title V Community Prevention Grant. This grant provides support for local communities to lower risk factors for juvenile delinquency. It also helps to prevent at-risk kids from entering the juvenile justice system. The deadline for this grant is July 5, 2011 at 8 P.M. E.S.T.


Suicide: A Preventable Epidemic in Young Adults

Teenagers and college students live in tumultuous times. Physical changes, high school graduation, going off to college, moving away from the parents — all of these things can cause personality and mood changes in young adults. So how does one know the difference between “normal” bouts of depression, sadness and erratic behavior, and what could potentially be a red flag for suicidal tendencies? Every 15 minutes (about the amount of time that it takes to down a cup of coffee) one person will commit suicide, according to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by intervention from those close to the victims, but often the warning signs were ignored because the subject is awkward, according to Mary Ann Camann, PhD, an associate professor at the WellStar School of Nursing at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta.

The Ambassadors’ Deep Bench, The Mothers Behind a Winning Team

Stacey Strozier found her son lying in the street in a pool of blood. Sonya King prayed her baby wouldn’t get caught up with the wrong crowd. And Felecia Calhoun’s worried her son was a cocky kid who thought an education wasn’t all that important. The mothers of the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors — an Atlanta inner-city baseball team that thrives of civic-minded goodness and specializes in sending its players to colleges on scholarships — all have a story to tell. Having a story of adversity to tell is essentially a prerequisite of Ambassador founders, C.J. and Kelley Stewart.

In Atlanta, the Boys of Summer on the Diamond and in the Community

By this time next year, Mendez Elder figures to be on a baseball scholarship at Georgia Tech, Clemson or Rice – the first person in his immediate family to go to college. The catcher is a top prospect in Georgia and was the only inner-city baseball player ever selected for June’s Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. On a recent warm, sunny Saturday morning, Mendez was at Perkerson Park on the south side of Atlanta, helping middle school kids work on their game. Mendez is a catcher with a rocket for an arm. But what he has to offer, any middle school player, regardless of position, would lap up.

Fighting Gang Violence with Research and Empirical Evidence

ORLANDO, Fla, – Frontline practitioners working on gang prevention, intervention and suppression are gathered this week for the National Gang Symposium in Orlando, Fla. For prevention, think of the Boys & Girls Club. For intervention, think of the Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries, whose motto is “nothing stops a bullet like a job.” And for suppression, well, of course, think of the police. The number crunchers from the National Gang Center, using their own just released data, are telling symposium attendees today that gangs remain a substantial problem in the nation. However, gang levels are lower than the peak levels in the mid-1990s, and law enforcement agencies reported gang activity in their jurisdictions at about the same levels for five straight years – all this during a time when overall violence is way down.