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Help stop abuse

By April Austin and Elisabetta Coletti / April 14, 1999

You see a mother slap her child. What do you do? Forty-four percent of Americans surveyed by Prevent Child Abuse America do nothing. The reasons included not knowing how to respond, not wanting to interfere, and fear of violence. To mark April as Child Abuse Prevention month, the advocacy group offers these tips:

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*Start a conversation to direct attention away from the child. For example: "My child gets upset like that, too."

*Divert the child's attention (if misbehaving) by talking to him.

*Look for an opportunity to praise the child or parent.

*Avoid negative remarks or looks, which may increase the parent's anger and make matters worse.

For more information call: 800-CHILDREN.

Source: Prevent Child Abuse America