CHILD ABUSE

The National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (NCPCA), PO Box 2866, Chicago, IL, 60690, 800 55-NCPCA suggests several steps to stop child abuse

1. Report any activity where you suspect child abuse or neglect. I know a lot of people don't like to get involved, but a child's life may be at stake here.

2. Advocate for services to help families. Parenting programs, health care and the like are mandatory to maintain healthy children and families.

3. Volunteer at a child abuse program.

4. Help a family, friend, etc. that is having problems with parenting

5. Recognize that you yourself may have problems and seek assistance when it gets overwhelming. Remember, your child's life, health and happiness may be at stake

CHILD ABUSE: (1999) The number of young children who die at the hands of parents or other caregivers is underreported by nearly 60 percent, according to North Carolina studies. Researchers said the results reflect the situation nationwide because all states use the same system to classify deaths. Caregivers commit 85% of the homicides of children 10 and under, and strangers are the killers only 3% of the time.

The abuse and homicides for the elderly are probably the same.

CHILDREN: (2000) The odds of becoming a successful adult are stacked against children who grow up in poverty, have uneducated parents or become teenage age parents. There are about 9.2 million that are considered high risk..

(AP) "Grinding poverty, violent crime and absent parents" are just some of the major obstacles our children are facing. The most critical threats are abuse and neglect at home, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, inadequate child care, lack of health care, poor schools and dangers in the environment.

MORE CHILDREN: First it was the TV, now this. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) About half of parents don't closely supervise their children's online activity, and a fifth say they don't supervise their kids' Internet activities at all.18% of the 62 children surveyed ages 8 to 18 say they plan to meet someone they have met online.

CHILD STATISTICS Population and Family Characteristics

In 1999, there were 70.2 million children under age 18 in the United States, or 26 percent of the population, down from a peak of 36 percent at the end of the baby boom (1964). Children are expected to remain a stable percentage of the total population as they are projected to comprise 24 percent of the population in 2020.

The racial and ethnic diversity of America's children continues to increase. In 1999, 65 percent of U.S. children were white, non-Hispanic; 15 percent were black, non-Hispanic; 4 percent were Asian or Pacific Islander; and 1 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native. The number of Hispanic children has increased faster than that of any other racial or ethnic group, growing from 9 percent of the child population in 1980 to 16 percent in 1999.

The family structures of children have become more varied. The percentage of children living with one parent increased from 20 percent in 1980 to 27 percent in 1999. Most children living with single parents live with a single mother. However, the proportion of children living with single fathers doubled over this time period, from 2 percent in 1980 to 4 percent in 1999. Some children live with a single parent who has a cohabiting partner: 16 percent of children living with single fathers and 9 percent of children living with single mothers also lived with their parents' partners.

In 1999, 54 percent of children from birth through third grade received some form of child care on a regular basis from persons other than their parents, up from 51 percent in 1995.

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