Red & Black

November: child safety and protection month

Gillian Burks, Editor in Chief

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Halloween has passed, and now we are waiting for November to bring us falling leaves and tables full of home-cooked food. November not only welcomes these thoughts, but also reminds us of darker topics. November is Child Safety Protection month. This topic spans from what families can do to make their homes safe for newborns to what organizations do to protect children that no longer have safe homes. This month reminds us of the delicacy of children’s lives and what we can do to promote their wellbeing and safety.

When a newborn child is brought into a house, many things that previously may have been harmless household necessities have now become possible threats. Simple ideas such as placing baby-gates in front of stairs or moving breakables to high shelves can make a huge difference. WebMD provides a helpful guide for new families looking to childproof their homes. Of course, more than just parents can contribute to child safety.

Teachers and professionals who work with children would proactively benefit from CPR and First Aid classes. Becoming CPR certified not only looks good on their resumes, but it means that they are able to help should an emergency arise. The American Red Cross is one organization that provides classes both online and in person. These and many other options are available to anyone looking.

Contrastingly, there are also organizations available for children who have been placed in an unsafe situation. One group which works with children who feel unsafe in their own homes is Bikers Against Child Abuse, also known as B.A.C.A. They are an international organization created in 1995 to protect abused children and help support them through their cases against their abuser. B.A.C.A is divided into multiple location-based groups, called chapters. These range across 17 different countries. Each chapter has it’s own president, vice president and so on. The president of the local MidMo chapter is named Ratchet.

“I was given this name by a B.A.C.A. child when I first joined.  He wanted me to go by Optimus Prime, but I settled for Ratchet, apparently another Transformer,” Ratchet said.

To protect the members of B.A.C.A and the children that they work with, everyone is attributed a road name. The names not only protect the confidentiality of cases, they provide a source of empowerment for the child they are protecting. B.A.C.A’s main goal is always to empower and protect the child during their court case.

“Our goal is to remove any fear that child may have. Often times, a perpetrator has told a child not to speak of the abuse ‘or else.’  We are there to empower the child and provide the security of knowing they can tell their story without fear of repercussion,” Ratchet said.

This organization works to keep children safe and protected, and that is what Child Safety Protection month is meant to encourage. The protection and safety of those who are too young to protect themselves.

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November: child safety and protection month