News & Stories

Pinwheels Raise Awareness of Child Abuse

In honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month in April, Cooper partnered with Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey’s “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign to recognize and educate our community on child neglect.

When Kathryn M. McCans, MD, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Child Abuse Specialist, meets with children and their families, she listens to their stories.

“The children relate experiences that no child should encounter. They have suffered from sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and/or neglect,” Dr. McCans said. “The caretakers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles relate stories of being overwhelmed by what has transpired. They are fearful of what happens next. The non-offending caretaker is also a victim. Their trust in a family member has been violated. Too often, the caretakers suffered similarly as a child.”

Dr. McCanns added, “We must be willing to call attention to the plight of the children in our lives. If we witness aggression against a child, morally and ethically, we must intervene on that child’s behalf. We must change our interventions from being reactionary to protection and support to prevent the abuse from ever occurring. We will need to address not just the ‘who did it’ but the ‘why did it’ to ever get to that point.”

On Monday, April 8, Cooper employees brought awareness to the epidemic of child abuse and neglect by hosting a “Planting Pinwheels” event on the front lawn of the Roberts Pavilion. Prevent Child Abuse America’s Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign is an effort created to change the way our nation thinks about prevention and how we can deliver on our commitment to America’s children. The blue pinwheels are the new symbol for child abuse and are an uplifting reminder of childhood and the bright futures all children deserve. Throughout the entire month of April, Cooper lit the hospital in blue to encourage others to get involved and make a difference in our children’s lives.

“Through this event we wanted to celebrate the lives of our young children who have endless possibilities ahead of them,” said Dr. McCans. “It is our responsibility to protect them and lead them in the right direction to a bright, successful future.”