A statewide helpline for child abuse prevention is being revived.
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia aims to re-establish a 1-800 helpline by the end of the year, thanks to a foundation grant.
The helpline went out of service in 2011, when PCA Georgia itself was closed down for financial reasons. The helpline had handled more than 10,000 calls in the first four years of its operation, GHN reported in 2011. It provided Georgians concerned about the welfare of a child with access to information, support and links to community resources.
The Prevent Child Abuse organization reopened several months after closing, and is now housed at the Center for Healthy Development in Georgia State’s Institute of Public Health.
A $165,000 challenge grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation will put the helpline back in business, said Julia Neighbors, director of PCA Georgia.
The helpline “was an important and valuable resource,’’ Neighbors said Wednesday. “This was a gap we want to close.’’ full story
For at least a decade, Georgia has steadfastly refused to include questions about sexual behavior in a CDC-sponsored survey of high school students.
Now that decision apparently will cost the state a shot at federal money for HIV/STD prevention.
In an April 4 letter from a Department of Education official to the CDC, the state said it would not apply for a round of federal funding for HIV/STD education because “it will not be able to comply with the new requirements.’’
Those new rules from the CDC require a state to include sex questions in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in order to qualify for the extra funds.
Those questions include: Have you ever had sexual intercourse? The last time you had intercourse, did you or your partner use a condom?
For years, Georgia students have answered survey questions on other types of behavioral issues, such as carrying a weapon, wearing a seat belt, being bullied, using tobacco, having symptoms of depression, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs.
But not on sex. “There were some sensitive questions that many districts have not felt comfortable answering in the past, and we wanted reliable results,’’ Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said in an email to GHN. full story
It’s time to go through those bathroom drawers and cabinets.
Saturday is national Drug Take-Back Day.
Georgia is again promoting the effort to prevent prescription pill abuse. Members of the public are encouraged to rid their homes of expired, unused or unwanted drugs.
The CDC has reported that prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Unused drugs in the home can contribute to this abuse, and teenagers are especially prone to misuse pills left in medicine cabinets or drawers.
Some young people use such drugs at parties: They pour several different kinds of pills into a bowl and then take them at random. full story
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta treated 1,400 children last year for concussions at its emergency rooms and urgent care centers.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta health system received 5,000 calls to its hotline fielding queries about possible concussions.
Dr. David Marshall, medical director for sports medicine at Children’s Healthcare, told GHN on Tuesday that he does not believe the incidence of concussions has jumped, but that public awareness of them “has exploded.’’
Marshall, CEO Donna Hyland and other Children’s Healthcare officials spoke of the importance of proper concussion treatment at a ceremony Tuesday at the health system’s Scottish Rite campus that featured Gov. Nathan Deal signing the Return to Play Act into law. The measure was passed by the General Assembly during its recently concluded session.
The main provisions of the act include informing parents or guardians of school athletes of the consequences of concussions, and educating coaches and school training staff on how to recognize symptoms.
And under the bill, any player with a concussion must be removed from a game until a health care provider clears the athlete to return.
A concussion that goes untreated can have serious medical effects, Deal told a crowd of health officials, legislators, NFL officials and health advocates at the bill-signing ceremony.
“I am proud to sign this bill that serves to protect Georgia’s young athletes from sustaining very serious injuries if the condition goes unnoticed or untreated,” Deal said. full story