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Fairfax County shares ways to prevent child abuse, neglect | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Fairfax County’s Department of Family Services published a report in June suggesting ways people can support children who might be experiencing neglect and abuse.

Although children can be vulnerable to neglect and abuse at any point in the year, they are more vulnerable in the summer while away from resources provided by schools. That makes it even more important for community members, as a whole, to recognize warning signs and step in to help.

Signs of abuse and neglect include:

  • Malnourishment, lack of personal hygiene.
  • Unexplained bruises, welts or other injuries.
  • Significant changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or fearful.
  • Children who appear too young to be left alone.
  • Home safety hazards or unsanitary conditions.

The report urges readers to familiarize themselves with the Child Supervision Guidelines in order to gauge whether a child is too young to be left unsupervised in homes, cars, playgrounds or yards. All Northern Virginia jurisdictions agree that children eight years old and younger always should be in the care of a responsible person.

Concerned individuals should refer families to the Parent Support Line, available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at (703) 324-7720. The resource offers parenting advice, support and tips to help navigate parenting issues.

Fairfax County also offers free virtual body safety classes to any Pre-K through sixth grade students. Trained facilitators help children build safety skills, preparing them to identify and avoid risks such as child abuse, cyberbullying and internet predators.

Children thrive when they regularly interact with responsive, caring adults, promoting healthy brain development and resilience in families. The department encourages people to make a difference by mentoring or volunteering with teens, being a safe and caring adult in a child’s life or providing support to struggling parents.

The department asked anyone who has concerns about a child’s safety to call the Fairfax County Child Protective Services (CPS) hotline at (703) 324-7400.

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