NAPNAP Position Statement on Child Maltreatment - NAPNAP

NAPNAP Position Statement on Child Maltreatment

NAPNAP Position Statement on Child Maltreatment

NEW YORK, April 4, 2024 – With the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimating that 618,000 children were victims of child maltreatment during 2020, it is clear that neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and/or medical child abuse are threatening the physical and mental well-being of our nation’s infants, children and adolescents. The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) recognizes this threat and aims to promote a safe, caring, and healthy environment that contributes to the optimal growth and development of all children and young people while denouncing child maltreatment.

Children facing such forms of neglect often present with physical and mental health problems, including but not limited to eating and sleeping disorders, developmental delays, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, as well as the potential for future victimization and chronic physical illnesses.

“By working to implement strategies to reduce child maltreatment in all forms, pediatric nurse practitioners and their fellow pediatric providers have the opportunity to limit negative short- and long-term impacts to our most vulnerable patients,” said NAPNAP President Regena Spratling, PhD, RN, APRN, CPNP-PC, FAANP, FAAN.

NAPNAP is committed to improving the health care of all children. By promoting efforts to advocate for the prevention of child maltreatment and working to educate fellow providers on the signs, symptoms, and necessary protocols, NAPNAP is dedicated to fostering efforts to decrease violence in the media, internet, family, and society. By

advocating for increased funding for further child maltreatment research studies, including prevention efforts, intervention research, and theory testing, there is the opportunity to learn more about the future impacts on these children and support them. Efforts for the primary prevention of child maltreatment, including educating parents and caregivers, aiding families in crisis, and recognizing that child maltreatment crosses all socioeconomic, racial, and religious boundaries, are essential for all health care providers.

The position statement is published in the March/April edition of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner’s Journal of Pediatric Health Care and can be accessed here.

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The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation’s only professional association for pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing 8,000 health care practitioners with 18 special interest groups and 53 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children’s health since 1973 and was the first national nurse practitioner society in the U.S. Our mission is to empower pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses and key partners to optimize child and family health.

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