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Saturday, April 29, 2017
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Editorial: Children deserve our very best

Last Modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 4:46 PM

Another heinous case of child abuse has made its way through the local court system.

On Wednesday, a jury found 31-year-old Jaime Brooks Day guilty of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Day was arrested in 2010 after authorities said they found a malnourished and bruised 9-year-old child in her home. He reportedly weighed 38 pounds.

The boy testified that Day starved him, hung him upside down by his ankles, wrapped him to his bed, burned his back with a rice sock, scalded him with a blowdryer, hit him with a dustpan and threw a screwdriver at him.

The boy told jurors Day abused him often, even forcing him to eat his own feces. He said he was fed a diet of “ramen noodles, grits and rice.”

“She would do any kind of thing to hurt me,” he testified.

The boy’s testimony should haunt each of us.

What should sting even more is the fact that this type of abuse happens every day.

According to the National Children’s Alliance, more than 1,500 children die from abuse and neglect in the United States each year. Fifteen percent of those children suffer physical abuse.

This doesn’t have to happen. These cases are 100 percent preventable.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children & Families, there are several indicators that can suggest a child is being abused:

Frequent physical injuries that are attributed to the child being clumsy or accident-prone.

Injuries that do not seem to fit the explanation given by the parents or child.

Conflicting explanations provided by child and/or caregivers, explanations that do not fit the injuries, or injuries attributed to accidents that could not have occurred given the child’s age.

Habitual absence from or lateness to school without a credible reason. Parents may keep a child at home until the physical evidence of abuse has healed. One should also be suspicious if a child comes to school wearing long-sleeved or high-collared clothing on hot days. This may be an attempt to hide injuries.

• Awkward movements or difficulty walking; this may suggest that the child is in pain or suffers from the aftereffects of repeated injuries

Learn these signs. We have to stop this from happening to another child.

Children deserve our very best. Protecting them should always be a priority.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Mike Jones, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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