Adults should be on lookout for child abuse signs
As children transition to a new school year, teachers, parents and neighbors need to be attentive to possible signs of neglect or child abuse.
About one in 80 children in South Carolina is a victim of child abuse or neglect, according to Dr. Olga Rosa, who practices at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and is director of forensic pediatrics for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
She cautions that it is important to recognize that every case of child abuse is individual and that no single warning sign proves that child is being abused. When warning signs appear repeatedly, or in combination, it should prompt a closer look.
If the child is 2 or younger, some hints of possible abuse include increased clinging, biting, hitting, temper tantrums, throwing things and becoming agitated. For ages 2-6, additional indicators are nightmares, acting out, separation anxiety, becoming withdrawn, loss of appetite or overeating or going backward on already acquired skills.
Some of the warning signs for children 6-10 include difficulty concentrating, complaints of frequent headaches and stomach aches with no apparent physical cause, loss of appetite or overeating, or sleeping difficulties such as nightmares and trouble falling or staying asleep.
As children reach ages 10-14, additional signs include anger, mood swings, being very critical of themselves and withdrawal from family, friends and school.
If you see an injury on a baby that is too young to walk or crawl, this is an important red flag. “If you can’t cruise, you don’t bruise,” Rosa said. “A child too young to walk or crawl should not have bruises.”
If you are concerned that abuse may be occurring, contact the local office of the Department of Social Services or the police department.
Donation helps pay for addiction treatment for poor
The Healing Families Foundation has created a Recovery Scholarship Fund with a gift of $15,000 from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.
The gift will help the foundation in its mission to reduce addiction, a leading cause of family collapse and harm to children in Richland and Lexington counties. The Recovery Scholarship Fund will help cover costs of treatment for indigent clients.
“Entire families suffer when a loved one is struggling with addiction,” said Ashley Hunter, chairperson of the foundation’s board of directors. “Addiction affects people in all walks of life and does not discriminate. Thanks to resources like this scholarship fund, we are able to admit anyone in need of services.”
Camp helps kids deal with grief
Brett’s Rainbow Bereavement Camp aims to improve the emotional, psychological and spiritual health of children who have experienced the death of a family member or significant other.
The 20th edition of the camp will be Oct. 27 at the White Oak Conference Center at 633 Mobley Highway, Winnsboro. It’s designed for children ages 5-18 but also includes day-long activities for parents or guardians of the children.
The camp is free thanks to community contributions to Palmetto Health Hospice. If you know a child who needs this type of special attention, applications for the camp are due by Oct. 22.
This year’s camp still is in need of volunteers. For more information about volunteering or to request an application, call Karen Brazell, Brett’s Rainbow Camp director, at (803) 296-3331 or go to www.PalmettoHealth.org.
Event aims to help those dealing with pulmonary fibrosis
A symposium on Sept. 28 is designed to help health professionals, patients and caregivers improve the quality of life for patients with pulmonary fibrosis.
An estimated 128,000 Americans suffer from pulmonary fibrosis, with 48,000 new cases diagnosed each year. There is no known cure, and the only known treatment option is a lung transplant. About two-thirds of the patients die within five years.
Patients and caregivers often feel a sense of helplessness when fighting this relatively unknown disease. Experts will share their knowledge and experience on what to expect and how to live with the condition.
Speakers include Dr. Timothy P. Whelan, medical director and cardiothoracic surgeon from the MUSC Lung Transplant Center, Dr. Linda Ann Perkins from the USC School of Medicine-Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Mark Mayson of Palmetto Pulmonary, Dr. Robert F. Bradley of Professional Pathology Services, Scott Sims of Palmetto Health Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Mark Stoll of Palmetto Health Behavioral Care.
The event will run noon-5:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Health Richland auditorium at 5 Richland Medical Park Drive.
Information or to register: Contact MGoforth@LungSC.org or (803) 779-5864
Event raises awareness about pancreatic cancer
People whose lives have been impacted by pancreatic cancer are invited to participate in the Purplelight National Vigil for Hope on Sept. 30 at S.C. Oncology Associates, 166 Stoneridge Drive, Columbia.
The vigil is designed to promote awareness about pancreatic cancer and to honor survivors, caregivers and those who have lost their lives to the disease. Participants can register on www.purplelight.org.
Event focuses on women’s heart health
Women can learn to take better care of their hearts at the annual “Women at Heart” forum and exhibition on Saturday at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
The free event is 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and lunch will be served to those who pre-register.
Free heart-health screenings will be offered 7-10 a.m. at the event. In addition, screenings will be available 7-10 a.m. today, Thursday and Friday Sept. 4-7, and Sept. 12 and 14 at Palmetto Health Baptist, 1501 Sumter St., classroom D-E. Screenings will include a fasting lipid panel, blood pressure, body mass index and fasting glucose. Health screenings require a 12-hour fast, and pre-registration is required.
Participants are encouraged to register early because screening appointments are limited. Register or get information at www.PalmettoHealth.org/WomenAtHeart or (803) 296-2273.
There also will be heart-healthy cooking and fitness demonstrations, testimonials from women living with heart disease and a question-and-answer session with Palmetto Health physicians.
Compiled by Joey Holleman