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Letter to the Editor: Protecting Children in Utah

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  • 1 min to read

As the wind spins pinwheels around, the blue and silver blades shine brightly from the rays of the sun.

In 1983, Congress declared April to be National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Since that time, communities across the country have taken the opportunity to raise awareness of issues surrounding child maltreatment and abuse. Planting a pinwheel garden is one of the ways we as a community can bring awareness to this problem. On April 1, 2021, the Family Support Center was joined by Joel Redd and the Utah Foster Care Foundation to plant Pinwheels in front of the Grand County Court House.

Reported cases of child abuse plummeted in Utah and around the United States during the pandemic. Health officials don’t yet know what that means, said Dr. Kristine Campbell of the University Of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. She and other pediatric experts have concerns.

“I worry that the most vulnerable children were hidden from their protectors—neighbors, teachers, medical care providers, religious leaders—and that there is a hidden epidemic of abuse that we may not even recognize,” said Dr. Campbell, who is a child abuse pediatrician at Primary Children’s Hospital’s Center for Safe and Healthy Families.

The concern is that Utah will begin to see a rise in cases as we recover from the pandemic.

The pinwheel is the symbol of child abuse and neglect prevention and symbolizes the stable, healthy childhood all children deserve. Planting a pinwheel creates awareness in our community that we are truly a community that cares and that we all have a role in children’s healthy development and growth.

Our children are our most valuable resource. Every child deserves a childhood. Utah’s child abuse laws are designed to protect children from harm by prohibiting the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children. These child abuse statutes assist in prosecuting child abusers and mandate that certain third parties and professionals report any suspicion of child abuse to the authorities.

To report suspected cases of child abuse in Utah, call the intake number at 1-855-323-3237.

Please feel free to call the Grand County Family Support Center at the Christmas Box House at 435-259-1658 to ask for pinwheels to plant at the Grand County Courthouse in the Children’s Garden (125 E. Center Street, Moab).

Grand County Family Support Center